Written by attorney Donald Joseph Quinn II

Avoiding Unnecessary Probate in the State of Missouri

Some time during our lives we should prepare a plan to avoid the necessity of any of

our assets having to be probated upon our death. Some of those devices that will

ordinarily help us avoid the probate of our estates are as follows:

· Living Trust: A living trust permits you to put your property into your name as "trustee" so that you manage your own assets for the benefit of yourself, your spouse, etc. during your lifetime and on your death your assets or trust property is managed by someone you name as your successor. You avoid probate of such property or assets.

· Pour Over Will: By this document you simply say that if you have failed to take everything out of probate by the provisions of your living trust then the things you missed are to go to your living trust through probate.

· Durable Power of Attorney: Through this instrument you can give your spouse or a child broad authority to act for you in case you become disabled or incompetent.

· Beneficiary Deed: In Missouri, for example, you can transfer title to real estate, without probate, by a beneficiary deed which is effective only when you or when both you and your spouse have died. The deed can be revoked before your death.

· Transfers on Death (T.O.D.): You can transfer title to your car or boat or stocks and bonds by putting "transfer on death provisions" in the titles which can cause them to become a part of your living trust without probate.

· Payable on Death Bank Accounts and Certificates of Deposit: Agreements on the above documents stating that the proceeds of those accounts or CDs will be paid to your trust upon your death will avoid probate on those assets in many states including the State of Missouri.

Our firm can assist you in selecting and preparing the above documents for your estate plan. Call our offices for an appointment and come in and see how you can avoid probate for your assets.

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