Legal Resources

Legal Resources

Legal resources for older adults The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is a professional association of lawyers who are committed to improving the quality of legal services provided to individuals as they get older and people who have special needs. The organization provides elder law attorneys with continuing legal education opportunities and provides support to other organizations that work with people as they age. The Missouri Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys This is the official website of the Missouri Chapter of NAELA. Visitors can learn about the organization, recent events, and browse through their listing of elder law attorneys. ADA.gov Homepage The link above is to a government website containing information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). People who visit the site can read the text of the law, learn about design standards the law mandates, obtain technical assistance materials, and learn about the way the ADA is enforced. Missouri Probate Forms The website maintained by the Missouri Courts providing various forms that may be required in various probate actions. Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 456 Missouri code regarding trusts and trustees. Missouri Bar Informational Brochure on Wills The link provides takes visitors to an informational brochure regarding wills published by the Missouri Bar. Healthcare resources for seniors The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare The Medicare program helps millions of seniors and people with disabilities meet the costs of their medical care. This official government website provides information regarding the program and allows users to sign up for Medicare. Healthcare.gov Healthcare.gov is...
Why Do I Need a Comprehensive Estate Plan?

Why Do I Need a Comprehensive Estate Plan?

Contrary to what many people may believe, all of us have an estate. A person’s estate is comprised of everything that he or she owns, including his or her personal property, real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and other assets. When a person passes away, these assets will be dispersed amongst various beneficiaries according to the wishes of the deceased or state laws of intestate succession. Each state has “intestacy” default rules, which governs the passing of a person’s property when there is probate property and when the deceased person does not have a Will. In many instances, the default rules or laws regarding the disposition of a person’s assets do not reflect the deceased’s wishes, so it is important for everyone to discuss their situation with an experienced estate planning1 attorney as soon as possible. Probate avoidance Probate is the process through which an estate is wrapped up after a person’s death. Probate generally involves establishing the validity of any will that may exist, ensuring that assets are transferred to their rightful heir or beneficiary, the payment of debts, and settling tax liability. The process can be lengthy and legally complicated, and proper estate planning can keep a person’s estate from being administered through the probate process at all. There are several ways to avoid probate, including the creation of a trust, designating accounts as payable-on-death, or utilizing different types of joint ownership. Minimizing tax liability Planning for purposes of avoiding estate taxes has declined because the lifetime exemption for taxes is now in excess of $5 million for each person’s estate (greater than $10 million for a...