The Estate Planning Group at CECB provides years of experience in assisting clients to achieve their estate planning objectives. The Group includes five members with advanced LL.M. degrees in Taxation, and four members of the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. The Group provides a complete estate planning resource to the firm’s clients, and works with clients from all walks and stages of life – from the young and financially modest to the senior and financially wealthy.
CECB well recognizes that each client is unique, and, therefore, that a client’s specific circumstances, needs and desires cannot be properly served by a “one-size-fits-all” approach to estate planning. Consequently, the members of the Estate Planning Group are committed to listening to clients and offering estate planning solutions appropriate to the particular needs of each individual client.
Because Missouri is a very trust-friendly State, and because of a common desire to avoid probate, most of our clients choose to utilize a revocable trust as the primary means of administering and disposing of their estates. In such cases, a typical estate plan will consist of a revocable trust, a pour-over will, a financial durable power of attorney, a health care durable power of attorney and, commonly, a health care directive, all tailored to the specific desires and objectives of the client. Exceptions abound, however, with many clients opting to rely primarily upon non-probate transfers, wills and other devices in achieving their goals. Furthermore, many clients, in addition to a revocable trust, will elect to also utilize more sophisticated devices in order to obtain their tax-savings and other objectives, such as irrevocable life insurance trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (“GRATS”), and many others.
In addition to providing solutions to the more common goals of preserving assets, avoiding probate, disposing of assets after death and minimizing applicable taxes, trusts are also used to accomplish a host of other purposes. Examples include special needs trusts (commonly used to benefit a disabled family member without disqualifying the beneficiary from governmental benefits), charitable trusts, pet trusts (to provide for the support of animal companions) and gun trusts (to allow ownership of certain firearms in compliance with applicable law). In short, trusts provide a supremely flexible solution to most estate planning needs.
The Estate Planning Group at CECB regularly provides the following estate planning services and products:
- Powers of Attorney (both financial and health care)
- Wills (both simple and complex)
- Non-Probate Transfer Devices (including Beneficiary Designations and Beneficiary Deeds)
- Revocable Trusts (including Qualified Spousal Trusts)
- Special Needs Trusts / Supplemental Needs Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Other Irrevocable Trusts
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (“GRAT’s”)
- Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts (“CLAT’s”)