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Medicaid Planning Law Firm in Cape Girardeau, MO

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A Simple Guide to How Probate Works in Missouri

Probate is the process of transferring property from a deceased individual to living individuals. Sounds simple, right? Yet, it can quickly become complicated and expensive. In Missouri, each county has a probate court that handles these transfers. However, probate takes time. The Missouri Bar advises that “the earliest that an estate may be closed and […]

3 Tips on Notifying the IRS of a Business Name Change

Recently I had a small-business owner contact me regarding changing the name of his business. We were able to amend the Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. That is a routine matter and can be done in one day This was a healthcare business and it also needed to update its […]

What Is Estate Planning? What is Elder Law?

Recently I hosted an estate planning workshop for the community. In introducing myself I said that I focus my practice on estate planning and elder law. An attendee wanted to know what those terms meant: what does “estate planning” mean? What is “elder law”? My simple definition for estate planning is this: planning so your […]

What Happens when Co-owners of Land can’t agree? Missouri Laws on Partitioning.

Recently a past client of mine called. She had inherited several pieces of farm land that had been owned by her great-grandparents. The result, is that while the great-grandparents owned 100% of the land, at their death it was divided up equally among their children. The children then divided it among their children and so […]

Top 10 Reason for Creating a Sound Estate Plan

I’m a note-taker. Usually you will find me with a blue ink pen and legal pad in hand, ready to take notes on whatever is being discussed. Recently, I came across one of my legal pads that had the following notes: Top 10 Reasons for Creating an Estate Plan from “The Everything Wills & Estate […]

Learning from Hillary – Estate Planning Tools the Clintons Use

In just a few weeks, we will elect a new president. Recent polls have Hillary in the lead. Regardless of whether you agree with Bill and Hillary’s politics, we can learn a few things from them about smart estate planning strategies. A recent Time.com article reveals that Bill and Hillary have set up a variety […]

How to Avoid Having Your Car, Trust, Boat, or Trailer end up in Probate

Missouri is a common sense state and most of our laws reflect that. Missouri has a whole chapter of laws dedicated to non-probate transfers. These are ways that individuals can name or designate a beneficiary and thereby avoiding probate. One of the areas I see this most often relates to vehicles owned by a deceased […]

How Much Money Can You Give Tax Free?

The simple answer has 2 parts. Each individual has an “annual exclusion” that allows them to give $14,000 per year to any number of individuals, without paying any gift tax. That means a wealth grandmother can give her 3 kids $14,000 each and each of her 7 grandchildren $14,000 each. The grandmother could give $140,000 […]

Missouri Is Among the Majority of States With No Estate Tax

A previous posting discussed Estate Tax at the federal level. It is important to know that some states impose an estate tax as well. Thankfully Missouri is not one of them. The Tax Foundation published this map which shows a 50 state survey of which states have a state estate or inheritance tax.

Client Testimonials for Estate Planning Attorney Mark McMullin

The best part of my job is getting to meet and know my clients and their families. Occasionally, there is some icing on the cake when a client writes you a follow up thank you card or letter. Recently I received two. With their permission, I would like to share part of their comments with […]

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