Kozeny & McCubbin, L.C.

Call Today 314-684-8046

St. Louis Legal Blog

Why do I need an estate plan?

If you think you do not have an estate because you are not wealthy or do not own many assets, you are not alone. According to CNBC.com, wills are basic estate planning documents that nearly 64 percent of people lack. The most common reason they put off estate planning is they do not believe they need to do it. Regardless of how much wealth and assets you plan to leave behind and the number of family members you have, you can still benefit from planning your estate. 

There are a variety of tools you can use to ensure your possessions and wealth pass down uneventfully and in a timely manner to individuals of your choosing. Consider the following information about St. Louis estate planning. 

A guide to reviewing and updating your estate plan

A lot of people delay making an estate plan. If you already have a will and perhaps some other documents, such as a trust, power of attorney or beneficiary designations, then you are already off to a good start. You are ahead of the curve. However, you should always remember that creating an estate plan is just the first step in what should be a continual process.

It is absolutely necessary to consistently review and update your estate plan over the years. Here is how you should go about looking at and potentially altering your estate plan.

Why should I choose an NFA gun trust over a standard trust?

You are probably already familiar with the basics of an NFA gun trust if you have established an estate trust or another standard trust in the state of Missouri. Gun trusts are documents designed to do any or all of the following for you:

  • Provide guidance for the beneficiaries of the trust
  • Protect your property from seizure
  • Avoid fees and delays associated with probate court
  • Reduce tax penalties
  • Facilitate the transfer of property

There are, however, major differences between a generic trust and one you establish to deal with firearms. These distinguishing characteristics are necessitated by the set of federal laws governing the sale, possession and manufacturing of your firearms: collectively known as the National Firearms Act.

What should I include in my business plan?

If you are a Missouri business owner, then you know that sometimes things do not go according to plan. Competitors arise, deals fall through and unexpected clients land right on your doorstep. There is absolutely no way to plan for everything, but that should not prevent you from working with a planning perspective.

Planning should likely be an integral part of operating your business. That is because business plans are more than just an exercise you must perform to secure a bank loan or attract angel investors. These documents are tools with the power to help you identify your risks, growth opportunities and potential goals. 

Understanding Missouri's 'Stand Your Ground' law

If you live in Missouri and have ever had anyone break into your home, you may have questions about what your rights are under such circumstances, and whether you are legally able to use deadly force against the assailant. At Kozeny & McCubbin, L.C., we have a firm understanding of Missouri's Stand Your Ground law as well as others relating to weapon ownership and use, and we have helped many Missouri residents defend their rights with regard to the use of firearms and weaponry within state lines.

Per KSHB Kansas City, Missouri became the 25th state in the nation to adopt a Stand Your Ground law last year. What, exactly, does the law mean for the state's firearm owners? Essentially, it asserts that Missouri residents who feel as if their lives are in danger due to a threat of deadly force may defend themselves using a gun without first having to retreat. A key component of the Stand Your Ground law, however, is that you can only exercise this right if the incident occurs in a location you have authorization to be in, such as your own home or a public place.

Which states recognize the Missouri concealed carry permit?

You have several liberties as a Missouri gun owner, although your rights are not always absolutely clear. Complicated rules, such as permitless carry laws, often tend to confuse matters rather than make your gun ownership experience easier. However, the rules on reciprocal recognition of concealed carry permits are relatively clear if you refer to the latest information.

Getting the most recent data on your permit is important due to the highly political nature of gun laws. Even if the weapons culture in Missouri is relatively stable, the same is not true about every state you might intend to visit. You could experience hostile police action, confiscation of your firearms or even criminal charges if you attempt to carry when it is not allowed. 

Is there anything that does not go in a will?

If you have decided to draft a last will and testament in Missouri, you have taken crucial steps to bequeathing your assets to your loved ones when you pass away. However, not all of your post-death wishes can be expressed in a will. According to Findlaw, some instructions, for a number of reasons, should not be included in a will.

First, you cannot specify actions in a will that are contrary to law. For example, wills are subject to estate taxes. Therefore, you cannot use a will to try and avoid having your assets taxed. You also cannot leave behind assets with stated instructions to do something illegal with them. Also, wills can still be contested through probate, so you cannot avoid probate with a will, although a will can make a probate proceeding go much faster since your wishes are officially spelled out.

3 essential estate planning documents

You probably know estate planning is important, but it may be easy to put it off. Setting up an estate plan may sound complex and intimidating, but it really is not. In fact, it can be pretty simple. 

As soon as you know the essential estate planning documents, you can start making preparations for you and your heirs to have peace of mind. Here are some documents you should create

What is the new federal estate tax law?

Estate planning is a process that requires a lot of thought. Not only do you have to think about who gets what but it also falls on you to ensure whatever you give does not come with a huge tax burden. For most people in Missouri, this is not a huge deal. However, if you are a high-income earner or someone with impressive assets, then the new changes to the estate tax laws at the federal level can really help. 

According to Forbes, it was the intention of President Trump to remove the estate tax altogether. While that did not happen, the new estate tax laws do offer some reprieve to more people. How the tax works at the federal level is you have to have assets that go over a certain exempt amount. What the changes in the law does is raise that exempt level. 

Is your business ready to expand?

When you have a small business in Missouri, you may come to a point where you begin to think about expanding. This is the natural course of business. You start out small and eventually expand into a larger business where you can make more profit and serve a larger group of people. However, if you try to expand at the wrong time, you could hurt your business. This is why it helps to know the signs that expansion is a good option. 

Entrepreneur explains that expanding a business before you are prepared can lead to devastating results. It is best to watch for signs that growth is a good next step. 

Kozeny & McCubbin, L.C. | 312400 Olive Blvd., Suite 555, | St. Louis, MO 63141 | Phone: 314-991-0255  | Map & Directions