Laurie A. Knight, Attorney At Law Classic Solutions | Life-Long Results

Chesterfield Estate Planning Attorney

Planning for the Future in St. Louis County

Estate planning can be a daunting undertaking for any individual. It is hard to know where to start, especially since death is a very unpleasant subject that many families avoid discussing. However, one should not wait to begin planning for the distribution of his or her assets upon death.

The most important reason a person should have an estate plan is to decide how assets are distributed instead of allowing the State of Missouri to decide how the assets should be divided. Every family is different and each estate plan needs to be tailored to fit the needs of that particular individual and family.

The tools of an estate planner include:

  • Last will and testament
  • Trusts
  • Gifts
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Non-probate transfers

Laurie A. Knight, Attorney at Law, LLC offers comprehensive estate planning services in Chesterfield and throughout St. Louis County. Laurie has over 13 years of experience helping families prepare for the future.

Call the firm at (636) 200-5533 or complete this online contact form to get started.

Powers of Attorney

Estate planning should include the possibility of incapacity and disability. As people age, infirmity and disability can prevent them from handling their own financial affairs or making informed healthcare decisions. Therefore, individuals should have durable powers of attorney as part of their estate plan.

A durable power of attorney for personal financial matters is a document that appoints a person called the attorney in fact to handle all personal financial matters when the individual is no longer able to handle those duties on his/her own. A durable power of attorney for healthcare matters is a document that appoints a person to make healthcare decisions for an individual who is incapacitated.

Living Wills

A living will, also known as a healthcare directive, is a document that states how an individual wants to spend his or her last days. This document details the types of treatments and machines that are not to be used when an individual is in a vegetative state or when death is imminent. The types of treatments must include whether the person would like to receive artificial food and hydration when he/she cannot eat or drink on his/her own. This is a very personal decision for each individual. Many individuals do not want to leave this heartbreaking decision to their loved ones to make; therefore, it is extremely important for a person to include this in an estate plan.

Gifting

Making a gift during one’s lifetime may be an option for some individual estate plans. For 2019, the federal annual gift exclusion is $15,000.00. In other words, any individual can make an annual gift of up to $15,000.00 to any number of individuals without gift tax liability.

In addition, a donor may make unlimited gifts to an individual as long as the gift is used for healthcare or education and the donor pays the gift directly to the healthcare or education provider. For instance, a grandparent may want to provide financial help to a grandchild for college expenses but does not want to be limited to the annual gift exclusion of $15,000.00. Thus, the grandparent can make direct payments to the university or college and not be limited to $15,000.00.

Non-Probate Transfers

Another tool used in estate planning is the Missouri Non-Probate Transfers Law. This allows an individual to title property in such a way as to make it “payable on death” or “transferable on death.” By doing this, the individual avoids probate on those items and retains all legal rights to the property during his or her lifetime.

To start planning for the future, contact Chesterfield estate planning attorney Laurie A. Knight at (636) 200-5533 today.

Why Choose Attorney Laurie Knight?

  • Free Consultation

    Every initial consultation is free of charge. No hidden fees!

  • Extensive Experience

    Attorney Knight has been perfecting her legal practice for over a decade.

  • Excellent Work Ethic

    Attorney Knight handles each case with respect and the utmost diligence.

  • Flexible Appointment Schedules

    Attorney Knight is available when YOU need help. All appointment times are flexible.

  • Personal Approach

    Every case is personal and no client is left in the dark.

  • Classic & Professional

    Attorney Knight values professionalism and integrity with every case and every client.

Contact Us Today!

How to Reach Us 636.200.5533 13321 N. Outer 40 Road, Suite 500
Chesterfield, MO 63017 Map & Directions [+]
Fill out a form or call the office today to schedule your free consultation!
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