Jimerson Law Firm, P.C.

Is It A Good Idea To Plan My Estate To Leave Specific Assets To Specific People Or Is It Better To Have Everything In One Trust?

I do not believe in leaving everything in just one basket, if you will. It is always safe to have multiple baskets. However, you must make sure that each basket financially works for you. A living trust is probably one of the better “baskets” that you can have. It all depends on how we structure that entity to protect the assets. In Missouri, you can leave specific assets to specific people. For example, we have a Beneficiary Deed, and it functions like an insurance policy. A house, car, or bank account can transfer to a specific person, like a transfer on death can specifically go to someone.

The problem with those assets, though, is that you control them, and therefore, they may be reachable by the creditor because they are considered “controlled” by you. I always suggest having at least one trust that can guarantee financial security and asset protection. We can employ other trusts and entities to address the specific needs for specific people. This will always give you a higher degree of protection.

If I Do Intend To Leave Specific Assets To Specific People, What Is The Best Way To Set Up My Estate Planning Documents To Reflect This?

The Living Trust is the best mechanism to leave assets to beneficiaries. There are other limited structures in Missouri we can create for single transfers, but they are just that…limited. So, my suggestion is why not go for the best? Create a living trust, and you can still designate and protect those assets for the people deserving of them.

Will A Trust Protect Assets Left For My Children Or Grandchildren From Spending Recklessly? Can I Put Parameters In The Trust Document To Detail My Wishes Regarding This?

This is probably one of the main uses of the trust nowadays. You can protect your children. There are some children that you want to watch out for more because of their habits. So, you can put assets into a trust specifically and segregate those assets for the children only. You can designate how they can use it and who and when they can receive it.

I Want To Ensure My Grandchildren Inherit My Property. Is It Possible To Leave Property To Minor Children In Missouri?

Yes, it is. However, you can leave the property in Missouri to minor children, but that property would be placed on some guardianship or conservatorship for that child. I still think it is probably the best idea to leave that type of property inside a trust with the trustee that you know. Someone you trust will dispose it to your children in due course in which you wish them to have it.

What Are Some Common Mistakes You See People Make When It Comes To Protecting Their Spouse If They Were To Become Incapacitated, Die Suddenly, Or Need To Enter A Nursing Home?

The biggest mistake, and this is critical, is not acting soon enough to place your assets into an irrevocable trust. In Missouri, and I believe in other states, the government can come after those assets if they are not in a protected account. In Missouri, the government can take all your money, all your assets, particularly for your spouse, up to $999. Your house is even exposed so that it can pay off anything that’s owed to the state for their care.

The best thing you can do is have an irrevocable trust that the state or the federal government cannot touch because you do not control it. It is something that you do not have control over, and therefore, they cannot take it from you.

Is Anything I Have In A Trust Protected Should I Divorce In Missouri?

The answer is probably not. Estate planning used in a wrong manner can be financially dangerous; particularly if trying to use it in a family law asset protection way. You should not confuse the two areas and should consult proper experts. The general rule is if something is acquired during marriage then it is a family asset and subject to division. These rules can be murky and dangerous. The other question is whether a trust exist prior to marriage is a marital asset. The logical question is no, but again they are exception. Consult a qualified attorney if this is a concern for you.

For more information on Estate Planning Law In Missouri, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (314) 786-3536 today.

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