Family Wealth Ideas: Leaving Property to a Spouse
Q. Do I need to do anything if I want all of my property to go to my spouse anyway?
A. Yes, you need to plan if you have assets in your name alone. Those assets will pass to your heirs at law. In Missouri that means the first $20,000 to your spouse, and the rest divided ½ to your spouse and ½ to your children or descendants (if your spouse is the parent of all of your children) or ½ to your spouse and ½ to your children or descendants (if your spouse is not the parent of all of your children). It may be that you have all of your assets in joint names with your spouse, or payable to your spouse upon your death (such as through life insurance beneficiary designation, transfer on death, etc.). But if you have any asset in your name alone, then it goes through probate and to your heirs if you don’t have a Will.
Click here to request our short paper on how to avoid probate.
Answers to your question about protecting and preserving your family's property.
David Heilich, Member in Charge, Family Wealth Planning Group
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Check our the 2014 Web Estate Guide for a more thorough explanation on Estate Planning.