It’s no secret: Estate planning can be complicated enough on its own. But, when you throw in the fact that every state has different laws and requirements for this process, you may have no idea where to start.
Fortunately, there are always will and estate attorneys happy to help you through this process — and attorney Kevin Kenney is one of them. As a Kansas City estates attorney for more than two decades, he is experienced in all of the Missouri wills, trusts, and estates laws that could impact your estate before and after your death. He will gladly use his knowledge to create the best estate plan for your situation.
You can contact Kevin and his legal team anytime at 913-671-8008 or by scheduling a consult online. While the information found below can be helpful, it is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. Only by speaking with attorney Kevin Kenney can you get personalized guidance on how Missouri wills and inheritance laws will affect your situation.
Missouri Last Will and Testament Laws
A last will and testament is a crucial document in the estate planning process. It’s the legal document that states exactly which assets in an estate are to be distributed to exactly which beneficiaries. It’s often the first step in estate planning; it outlines a person’s estate in detail and helps an attorney know what additional steps may be necessary.
So, what are the Missouri will laws that you need to keep in mind while drafting your last will and testament?
- Who can make a will: Missouri law on wills dictates that a person must be at least 18 years and of sound mind to create a legal and valid will. A will must be in writing, signed by the testator and at least two witnesses who are not beneficiaries.
- When a will goes through probate: If a testator only creates a last will and testament (and not other estate planning documents), Missouri estate law necessitates that will go through the probate process. Any assets that are held in the testator’s name at the time of their death must go through probate. A last will and testament must be filed with the Probate Division of the Circuit Court within one year of death.
- When someone dies without a will: A Missouri resident’s estate is subject to intestate succession, in which the division of assets plays out according to Missouri Probate Code. The Code outlines how assets are distributed based on which family members are surviving.
Before you create any kind of will in Missouri, it’s important to be aware of the Missouri will laws that could affect your process. Fortunately, attorney Kevin Kenney can guide you through the process with his legal expertise.
Missouri Estate Laws
But, there is more to estate planning than creating a last will and testament. So, how will Missouri estate planning laws dictate the steps ahead?
You may be surprised to learn that Missouri estate law has a smaller influence on your estate planning needs than your actual estate itself. In fact, your estate attorney will initially be more interested in learning about your current estates and assets than in explaining the details of Missouri life estate laws.
The laws themselves are pretty simple, and any attorney experienced in the matter will create your estate plans based on them. As an individual, you won’t need to worry about them a great deal, but there are a few things you should be aware of:
- Missouri death or estate tax: There is no separate state death tax or estate tax that must be paid in Missouri. However, after a testator has died, their executor will need to pay all final income taxes, real estate and property taxes and more. These expenses will come out of the estate prior to distribution of assets.
- Missouri trust law: Your estate attorney will advise you to create a trust to avoid the complications of probate after your death. State laws allow you to create several kinds of trusts, but keep in mind that the laws are always subject to change. That’s why a lasting relationship with your estate attorney is so important.
How Kevin Kenney Can Guide You Through Missouri Will Laws
There’s no reason to stress out about wills, trusts and estates law in Missouri when you have an experienced Missouri attorney guiding you through the process. And attorney Kevin Kenney fits the bill.
Kevin and his legal team have practiced family-building and estate law for more than 20 years in the Kansas City area, and he’s helped many clients in the very same position as you. When you schedule a consultation, he will talk in detail about your estate planning needs to determine the best plan of action for your estate.
This includes creating:
- Guardianship designations
- Last wills and testaments
- Living wills and powers of attorney
- Financial trusts
- And more
To learn more about will, trust and estate law in Missouri and to be provided experienced help through every step of your journey, give attorney Kevin Kenney a call at 913-671-8008 or contact him online today.