Estate Planning

We are Springfield Missouri estate planning lawyers.  We help people with wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives and beneficiary deeds.

Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney

Whether you are a new parent with young children or an older person, planning for your loved ones is not a responsibility to take lightly. There are different levels of estate planning for various individuals. Some people need complex estate planning due to tax issues, business ownership issues, or if they have a large amount of assets. Others have simpler needs that may be met with a simple Trust, a Will, or Power of Attorney. Under Missouri law, Revocable Trusts (sometimes called a “Living Trust”)are a great vehicle to avoid probate and pass property to your heirs in a straightforward manner. For younger parents, making guardianship plans for your children to ensure they are taken care of if something happens to you or your spouse is also important.

In addition to planning for a person’s death, Estate Planning also plans for disability. Many people are unable to care for themselves at certain times in their lives. Part of good Estate Planning is making sure that there are adequate protections in the form of a Revocable Trust, a Power of Attorney, or appropriate guardianship. All of these matters are much easier to do while a person is of sound mind and able to carefully consider their own wishes. Further, Missouri law recognizes every person’s right to declare a Healthcare Directive, or what is commonly known as a “Living Will”. These Living Wills are an integral part of making sure that you are able to instruct what healthcare procedures are acceptable to you, and to name a person to make decisions for you if you are unable to make important healthcare decisions. We at O’Reilly & Preston, LLC have experience in assisting our clients with Estate Planning, Revocable Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Healthcare Directives.

Estate Litigation

Sometimes family or other heirs fundamentally disagree about a Will or Trust. Sometimes these disagreements result in litigation. It’s important to have an experienced attorney to assist you if you have issues arise under a Trust or Will, or there is a question about the validity of a Trust or Will. At O’Reilly & Preston, LLC we are able to assist you in your estate litigation needs.

Pre-Marital or Pre-Nuptial Agreement

When people get married, they sometimes want to have their separate property and future marital property clearly defined in case of death or divorce.  We provide legal advice on these premarital or prenuptial agreements (commonly called a “PreNup”).  If you would like to discuss your options before marriage, please contact us.

How Do I Pay for My Estate Planning?

We offer a free thirty (30) minute consultation on your estate planning questions.  After this initial no obligation meeting, we can give you a firm estimate of your legal costs and what the next step is to complete your living trust, will, or other documents.  We do most of our estate planning on a flat fee basis so you know exactly what your costs will be, and you can decide for yourself what you would like to do to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

What is a will?

A will is a document that disposes of your property upon your death. A will spells out guardianship of your minor children, if you die. A will does not avoid probate and a will must be filed with a probate court upon your death to get your property to your heirs.

What is the difference between a revocable trust or living trust and a will?

A revocable trust (“Living Trust”) is a document you enter into during your lifetime that appoints you, and later someone else, as trustee over your property. The property placed in the trust can avoid probate and can be passed on to your heirs through the trust without a lengthy and expensive probate process. One advantage of a revocable trust or living trust is that if you become incompetent or disabled, the trustee you have appointed can manage your affairs for you.

What is a healthcare directive or “living will”?

A healthcare directive is a document where a person can appoint who they would like to make medical decisions for them if they are unable to communicate with the doctor. It is also a document where you can specify what healthcare treatment you do or do not want in the event you become incapacitated.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a document that can allow others to manage your property for you. Most of the time, a power of attorney is only used were a person has become mentally incompetent or physically unable to take care of their own needs.  A power of attorney can either immediately give powers or, the power of attorney may take effect after one or more doctors certify a person is genuinely disabled and incompetent.

What is a beneficiary deed?

A beneficiary deed is a deed that your attorney can draft and have filed that will allow your real property, whether that be a house, a farm, a ranch or just land, be passed on to your heirs or anyone else that you designate without going through the probate process. The beneficiary interest does not give any current interest in the land and is amendable or revocable at any time prior to your death.