Building A Better Future Through Estate Planning

Preparing a will or a trust is one of the best things you can do to establish your legacy into the next generation and protect your loved ones from unnecessary hardship. Many people think that estate planning is just for wealthy families, but in fact estate planning can help all kinds of people.

As an estate planning attorney, I can help you provide for your loved ones and favorite charities through wills and trusts, powers of attorney and other estate planning documents. When properly prepared and executed, these documents can help make sure your assets — including investments, bank accounts, real estate, valuable personal property and items with purely sentimental value — are distributed the way you want them to be, and help spare your loved ones the headaches and heartaches involved in deciding how to divide that property themselves.

Why You Need A Valid Will

If you don't leave a valid will providing instructions on how to distribute your assets, the government will decide on your behalf. This can create many problems.

One is that the state's predetermined, one-size-fits-all plan may be very different from your personal wishes. Another is that, when the state is in charge, distributing your estate can take a long time. Even worse, probate court costs may come out of your estate, leaving less to provide for your intended beneficiaries.

A valid will helps your family avoid or minimize these problems. It also helps ensure that your estate is distributed in a way that respects your wishes.

Trusts: Powerful Tools For Protecting Assets

A trust is another type of estate planning document that, like a will, can help ensure your wishes are carried out after you are gone. Many trusts are set up to go into effect along with a will, and can help your loved ones avoid many of the hassles of probate.

However, trusts can do a lot more than that. An estate planning lawyer can set up a trust to go into effect almost any time during a person's life, to fulfill many different functions and suit many circumstances.

Helping You Plan For Your Family's Future

My goal is to help you come up with a plan that suits your circumstances, your wishes and your needs. The first step I take in creating your estate plan is to sit down with you and find out about you and your family. Together, we can craft a plan that will be effective for many years to come.

If you need help with wills, trusts or other estate planning documents, call the Law Office of Mary Lou Martin, P.C., today at 417-413-5066. You can also contact the firm using email. Located in Springfield, we help clients from all over southwest Missouri.