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By Betty Schaefer on August 20, 2018 at 1:35 PM

SUV packed with items to drop your child off at collegeIf you are one of the countless parents sending a child to college this year, you have a lot on your mind. Packing clothes, buying dorm room accessories and learning how to do laundry are probably only a few of the items on your child’s college checklist. Odds are that signing estate planning documents is not near the top of that list, but it should be. 

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By Betty Schaefer on May 3, 2017 at 11:55 AM

Stack of coins with s-a-v-e letters in wooden blockOn April 24, 2017, Missouri launched MO ABLE, the state’s Achieving a Better Life Experience disability savings program. Missourians with disabilities may now open an ABLE account to save and invest, tax-free, without jeopardizing federal needs-based benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. For more information about the ABLE Act, which Congress passed in December 2014, and about ABLE accounts in general, please see our prior e-alert.

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By Betty Schaefer on February 28, 2017 at 1:24 PM

Image of father and soon holding piggy bankIn most states, including Missouri and Illinois, 18 is the legal age of majority. At that age, a person becomes an adult in the eyes of the law and gains all of the rights that go along with adulthood. Any person under 18 is a minor and, generally, does not have the legal capacity (or right) to control or manage his or her assets, including an inheritance.

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By Betty Schaefer on November 30, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Trust scale, low to highIf you are like most people, you have a clear idea about who should receive your assets upon your death. However, selecting who will be responsible for ensuring your estate plan is faithfully carried out may be more challenging. When your estate plan includes a trust that directs the distribution of your assets, the person (or entity) you choose for this important job is called a trustee. Your trustee will have the obligation to act in the best interests of your beneficiaries and to manage and protect the trust assets on their behalf.

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By Betty Schaefer on November 2, 2016 at 9:54 AM

Wife and husband signing divorce papersAfter months of emotional and financial turmoil, a finalized divorce can be a welcome end to a stressful time. Now what? Before you move on with your life, make sure you truly sever all financial ties to your former spouse by updating, or even creating, your estate plan. Failure to do so can lead to unintended beneficiaries such as your former spouse claiming your assets at your death, resulting in costly litigation that can drag on for years after you die.

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By Betty Schaefer on July 12, 2016 at 9:49 AM

If you are one of the countless parents sending a child to college this year, you have a lot on your mind. Packing clothes, buying dorm room accessories and learning how to do laundry are probably only a few of the items on your child’s college checklist. Odds are that signing estate planning documents is not near the top of that list, but it should be. 

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By Betty Schaefer on April 5, 2016 at 9:27 AM

An Alabama probate judge entered an order recently sealing the probate court file, including the will, of Harper Lee, the famed author of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Attorneys for the estate successfully argued public access should be restricted, in part, because the author would not have wanted her private financial information to be a matter of public discussion. Interestingly, despite being a notoriously private person, Lee chose to direct the disposition of her estate through a last will and testament, a historically public process.

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