Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is the cornerstone of a person’s estate plan and allows a person to designate his beneficiaries, provide necessary guidance for loved ones, specify who should be a guardian or conservator for any minor children, determine whether a bond is required should probate administration be necessary and much more. Every person should have a last will and testament.
A trust agreement allows a person or couple to avoid probate by transferring property into a trust for the benefit of loved ones, to be distributed according to the terms of the trust agreement. A trust agreement is a private document, allows for flexibility and can provide many advantages over other forms of property ownership.
A Durable Power of attorney
A durable power of attorney allows a person to appoint someone to act on their behalf during all periods of incapacitation and make important financial and contractual decisions.
A beneficiary deed allows a person or couple to transfer real property to a beneficiary or beneficiaries upon the person’s death. This deed prevents the real property from needing to be administered in probate court.
Deed of Gift
A deed of gift is a tool in Missouri used to gift a person’s tangible personal property to a beneficiary or beneficiaries upon the person’s death, allowing the property to be transferred without needing to be administered in probate court.
SMall Estate Affidavit
A small estate affidavit (formally called an affidavit to establish title) is used to transfer property under $40,000.00 in value from a decedent to his heirs and beneficiaries. This is typically cheaper, quicker and easier than full estate administration.
For Spouses and/or Minor Children
Spouses and/or minor children are entitled to one year of support from the decedent. In smaller estates, spouses and/or minor children can apply for something called an application for refusal of letters, stating that the amount of assets in the estate is smaller than what would be allowed for one year of support.
Full Estate Administration
When someone passes away with property that needs to be administered through the probate court in excess of $40,000.00, a full estate needs to be opened. There are many rules and regulations involved and the estate must be opened for at least roughly seven months, so it is important to contact an attorney and get started sooner rather than later.
Determination of heirship
When no one applies to open the estate of a decedent within one year from their date of death, a petition for determination of heirship is required for all estates in excess of $40,000.00. This process requires a hearing in the probate court and is quicker than full administration in some cases.
A quitclaim deed transfers a person’s entire interest in a parcel of real property to another person or persons. You may have heard people mistakenly refer to this as a “quick claim deed” because of the perceived speed of the transfer.
Quiet Title Action
A petition for quiet title is used to have the circuit court grant title to a parcel of real property in the name of a person or persons. It is commonly used to clear up issues with legal title in real estate or when the chain of deeds or releases is incomplete for a variety of reasons.
While there are many things that need to be proven in order to acquire title to real property through adverse possession, a person must file a petition in court asserting that he has controlled and maintained the real property for the previous 10 years. This usually arises when one person believes that his real property that he has been maintaining legally belongs to someone else.