Thursday, December 30, 2021

Last Will or Revocable Living Trust - Which One is Best for You?

Regardless of your income or the size of your family, estate planning is something you do not want to neglect. For the most part, estate planning means determining and documenting your wishes for your children, and for managing your assets and liabilities when you pass. Your assets and liabilities will change throughout life, so may the size of your family. So, your estate plan should be updated periodically. At Gibbons’s Law Firm, we are very familiar with the process and have helped countless people put their affairs in order. Over the years, our estate planning attorneys at Lake of the Ozarks, have noticed that people have some misconceptions about some common estate planning tools. So, this week we wanted to talk about living wills and revocable trusts. If you would like to know what they are, what the differences are between them, when you should use each one, or if you need both, we invite you to read this blog.

Last Will and Testament

It sometimes surprises people to learn that having a will in place does not keep your estate from going through probate.  It does, however, determine who should inherit your property if you pass away.  But the most important aspect of a will is to appoint a guardian for your children. If something happens to you while your children are under the age of 18 a will can ensure who will be appointed to take care of your children. Because it is generally more straightforward and simpler, getting a will put in place is less expensive and takes less time than a revocable living trust.  It also becomes public record upon your death.

Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is similar to a will, except it allows much more detail and control. You can use a revocable trust not only to determine that your children get your assets, but you can choose at what age you want your children to receive those assets. Some parents prefer their children to be at least 25 before having the responsibility of managing large amounts of money or valuable property. Because it is more complex, a revocable living trust can be more expensive and take more time to prepare. But it does allow your estate to avoid probate, which can make up for the initial cost. Probate procedures can take months or even years. With a revocable living trust, your assets can be transferred directly to your heirs without going through the probate process. Another difference is that a revocable living trust does not become public record upon your death the way a will does.

Gibbons Law Firm Can Help

Knowing whether you need a will or revocable living trust, or both is something Gibbons Law Firm can help you with. Our mid-Missouri estate planning attorneys know how to keep your belongings out of probate and ensure your wishes are honored. We are here to make it easy for you to plan your estate and keep it up to date as your life changes. We encourage you to call our law firm in lake Ozark to schedule a free consultation. We would be happy to look at your situation and help create a plan to ensure that you decide what happens to your children and assets if something happens to you, not the courts.  If you found this blog helpful and would like to stay informed with all our latest announcements and information, use the links below to follow us on social media!


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Will Planning for Parents – 3 Things to Think About

As parents, you think of all those milestones that you will witness as your children grow up. You make plans for their future, and do everything you can to look out for them and protect them. The last thing you want to think about is what would happen to them if you were to pass. But as much as you love them, you wouldn’t want anyone else to make that decision for you if you were to die unexpectedly.

As estate planning attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know it is a difficult subject. But at Gibbons Law Firm, we help parents get through the tough questions and legally outline their decisions to ensure the wishes they have for their children will be upheld. If you do not have a recently updated will, and you have children, keep reading this blog for ideas on 3 things to consider when planning your will. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about planning a will in Missouri and help you through the process.  Your initial consultation is free.

1) Who Will Raise Your Children?

One of the first things you want to think about is who you want to be responsible for your children. If you have a relative or close friend that you want to raise your children, that should be legally documented. Otherwise, a court will make that important decision for you. You know better than the court who would raise your children with the same values and the closest to the way you would. Let your voice be heard with a legally binding will.

2) Where Will Your Child Live?

Another question, related to the first, is where do you want your children to live? Will you want the guardian of your children to move into your home? Or would you expect your children to move out of their home and possibly into a new city?  If it’s important to you that they keep up with their normal routine or have regular access to the friends and family they have been raised with, that should be indicated in your will.

3) What About Your Assets?

The third question is about your assets. What part of your assets do you want to go to help with the expenses of raising your children?  Do you want to stipulate that the money is only to be used to pay for expenses directly related to raising your children? What portion of your assets do you want to go to your children? What age do you want your children to be when they receive access to those assets? Sometimes parents want their kids to be of legal age or older before they have access to large amounts of money or other assets. Those are all things that you are able to decide and document in your estate plan.


LET GIBBONS LAW FIRM HELP YOU GET THIS DONE!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this by yourself. At Gibbons Law Firm, we are very familiar with the estate planning process in Missouri and know how to make it as pleasant as possible for an understandably awkward conversation. In the end, you get the peace of mind of knowing that you didn’t leave these important decisions up to someone else. So, give us a call today at 573-348-2211 to schedule your free initial consultation! We also encourage you to follow us on our social media channels below to stay up-to-date with our latest announcements. 


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

How Drinking Impairs Your Driving – Why to Have a Designated Driver

This is such a fun time of the year with all the holiday parties and get-togethers happening. But unfortunately, it can also be a risky time when it comes to drinking and driving. It is likely that at least some of those parties will involve alcohol. Unless people drink responsibly and have a designated driver, that means the risk of being on the road with an impaired driver is higher this time of the year. 

At Gibbons Law Firm, we know the devastation caused by drunk driving accidents at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our mid-Missouri personal injury attorneys have represented numerous victims, and we don’t want anything like that happening to someone else. So, today’s blog is dedicated to understanding the effects drinking has on your body and how it can impair your driving ability. It’s easy to have a drink and not think twice about getting in your car. But when you realize how much that drink can affect you, it’s better to be safe than sorry and find a designated driver, or wait until you get home to indulge. If you’d like to know a few reasons why it’s so worth it to be responsible, read on! This blog is for you. 

Vision.

Alcohol can affect your vision, and how you react to light. It is a natural reaction for your eye to be drawn towards light, but it can be worse when you’re drinking. This can be very dangerous at night with oncoming traffic. Seeing hazards such as deer or judging the distance between you and the cars ahead can be more difficult and at night this can be even more challenging. With the shorter days, we find ourselves driving more after dark, all these factors need to be taken into consideration.


Reaction Time.

Slow reaction time is another effect of being under the influence. When you’re traveling down the road just a fraction of a second can mean the difference between having a collision or not. Everything from reacting to other drivers, avoiding animals, and responding to traffic lights can be slower. 

Decision Making.

Being under the influence also affects your decision-making. It can make you slower to react, and you can make your judgment cloudy. You may overreact to some things, or under-react to others. Why not make a good decision before you start drinking, and arrange to have a ride so you don’t have to drive?


Tracking.

Staying between the lines and in the center of your lane is also much more difficult when you’ve been drinking. It takes only a small mistake to be deadly when it comes to crossing the centerline or driving off the road in the Ozarks.

 

Enjoy the holiday season SAFELY!

At Gibbons Law Firm we want everyone to have a fun and festive holiday season. But we also want you to be safe. No one should have to die or go to jail as a result of celebrating Christmas. That is why we wanted to share these simple reminders to encourage you to celebrate the right way and keep the holidays fun and worry-free! If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in Central Missouri, we want you to know we are here for you. Reach out to us to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks. We would be happy to sit down with you and see how we could help.  To hear more tips and information from our mid-Missouri law firm, follow us on our social media channels using the links below.


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Ways to Help Your Cause During a Child Custody Case

Child custody can be one of the most critical factors for a parent considering divorce.  The idea of a child not being able to see a parent as much as they would like and need due to custody arrangements is heartbreaking. If you are a parent going through a divorce, Gibbons Law Firm would like to share a few things you can be mindful of to improve your chances of being awarded custody.  Our Lake of the Ozarks divorce lawyers know the court is looking for whatever is in the best interest of the child. With that in mind, there are several factors that can be considered.  To learn how to help your cause during a child custody case, keep reading this blog!  We will discuss 5 things you can do to give yourself the best chance of being awarded custody of your child.

Fair Sharing of Time

In most cases, it is best for kids to be able to spend time with both parents.  The parent who shows more willingness to allow the child to have a fair share of time with the other parent and who does not try to hinder that process will most likely be seen more favorably when it comes to determining child custody.

Child’s Wishes

Your child may have a preference for which parent he/she wants to have custody.  It may be something as simple as the child not wanting to change schools, or leave friends, or the community in which they have grown up so far.  They may feel more secure or stable in one parent’s home versus the other.  The court will factor these things into the decision.

Parents’ Mental and Emotional Stability

If a parent shows a history of being aggressive or abusive, having addiction issues, or being a “hot head” that can be a serious detriment to their child custody case.  Even though this is an extremely emotional situation, it is key to your case that you maintain self-control at all times – including on social media, when you are meeting with your ex, when in court, around your kids and other family members, etc.

Ensure a Stable Home Environment

The court will want to see that the child has an environment that will allow consistent interaction not only with parents, but also with siblings, and other people who play a significant and positive role in the child’s life.  Having a steady income and a safe neighborhood is important, as well as regular participation in the child’s extracurricular activities like sports, school plays, doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher meetings, etc. If either parent has plans to relocate and change the primary residence that will also be considered in the decision for child custody.

Be Cooperative

This can be a major challenge when dealing with an ex, but it will reflect directly on your temperament and how you will conduct yourself as a parent sharing your child with the other parent.  You may be very justified in refusing to cooperate, but it will not help your cause when it comes to child custody. It is especially important to avoid being negative or adversarial with your ex and that you do not put your child in the middle of the drama by criticizing his/her other parent to or in front of them.  The more agreeable you can be the better.  Your Central Missouri divorce attorney should be able to help advise and redirect you to keep cool and focus on the end goal.


Gibbons Law Firm is Prepared to Help you with Your Child Custody!

Our caring child custody lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks have your back and know how to help you through this difficult time.  You can count on our Lake Ozark law firm to advise you and guide you with the legal information that you need to make the best decisions for your children.  If you have any questions about your child custody case, please do not hesitate to give us a call for your free consultation. GibbonsLaw Firm can be reached at (573) 348-2211. Be sure to follow us on social media using the links below to stay up-to-date on all our latest legal tips and helpful information. 


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, December 2, 2021

How to Make Your Divorce as Quick and Peaceful as Possible

At Gibbons Law Firm we know that going through a divorce is a trying time full of emotions.  Not knowing how things are going to go – whether things will go relatively smoothly or turn into a long and expensive battle – certainly adds to the stress.  As divorce attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks, we have learned a few things that can go a long way towards helping you get through your divorce more quickly and with less conflict. If you are interested in knowing how to make the divorce process quicker and hopefully less painful, today’s blog is for you.  If you are looking to file for divorce and need an experienced divorce attorney in Mid-Missouri to guide you, call us at 573-348-2211.  We know how to help you through this tough time.

Try to Come to a Solution on Your Own 

The more a couple is able to work out a solution on their own the better the outcome usually is for everyone.  If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement, then it will be left up to the Court to decide.  That will involve the Court looking at a number of different factors such as each person’s earning potential, current income, how each spouse handled their finances during the marriage, etc. That can obviously become more labor-intensive and lead to decisions that perhaps neither spouse actually agrees with.  By far the best scenario is for you and your spouse to come to a fair and agreeable decision to you both without getting the Court involved.  

Be Business-Minded

The entire discussion of how to end the marriage and divide assets fairly can trigger a lot of feelings, especially if you feel you have been put at a disadvantage because of how you were treated in the marriage.  Make it your goal to be professional and fair.  This is no time to let your emotions take over.  Keep in mind your alternative is to let the Court determine the outcome and that can create a lot more variables and unknowns.  If you can approach the negotiations more like a business meeting than a battle for justice, your chances for a successful outcome increase significantly.

Communicate with Purpose

Clear and purposeful communication can totally set the tone for the entire process during your divorce. This is not about all the reasons you are done with the relationship or all the ways you have been wronged.  At this point, you and your spouse should be focused on HOW to move forward in the most positive way possible. Considering that you did not get married expecting for it not to work, remembering at one point this person is someone you loved, the more you can visualize and communicate a fair and reasonable path forward and avoid re-hashing grievances the more quickly and peacefully it will go.  

If the energy between you and your spouse makes that impossible, communicate with your attorney with the same mindset and let your attorney work through the negotiation.  Once you have stated your position, try to avoid going back and readdressing the same issue as that can drag out the entire process and potentially force negotiations back to square one.  So stay focused on the future and let your attorney help you structure and negotiate for that end.

We hope you find this information helpful.  We don’t wish divorce on any couple.  But if you find yourself facing a divorce, we want to make it as quick and painless as possible.  Unfortunately, some divorces may be more complicated if they involve children, businesses, or a lot of joint assets.  It may take more time to work out the agreements in such cases.  But at Gibbons Law Firm, we have learned that even in a high stakes divorce, being able to bring your own solutions and having a mindset to be fair, responsive and clear in your communication can be very helpful in making your divorce more timely even (or especially) in a high stakes divorce.  For more information on how to get the process started and how to achieve the most positive results, our law office in Lake Ozark offers free consultations.  Contact us at (573) 348-2211 to schedule your appointment.  Follow our social media channels for more helpful hints and information regarding the law and seeking legal advice at the Lake of the Ozarks.  


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Estate Planning for Business Owners – 3 Things to Think About

At Gibbons Law Firm in Lake Ozark, we have a lot of respect for small business owners.  We have helped numerous business owners with legal advice on starting and structuring their businesses and have provided guidance on estate planning for their businesses as well.  There is a lot to consider when it comes to deciding what will happen to your business if you were no longer around to run it. We know when you own a business, you put your heart and soul into it.  Quite possibly, your family’s financial well-being depends on its success. That is why we wanted to dedicate this week’s blog to estate planning for business owners at the Lake of Ozarks.  If you are a business owner and want to know what you should be thinking about in order to determine what will happen to the company you worked so hard to create, keep reading this blog!  

1) Who will own your business

The first thing to think about is who do you want to own your business.  Without an estate plan, it will most likely go to a close relative or spouse.  But if your family is not very involved in the business or would not know how to run it or sell it for a good price, that may be more of a burden for them. You have the option of naming an executor or trustee who is more knowledgeable about how to handle the finances of the business. Or, if you have business partners, you may want them to buy out your part of the business.  If so, it may be advisable for the partners to have life insurance on the other partners to provide funds for such a buy-out if one partner dies.  Either way, it will be important for you to have your wishes legally documented.

2) Who will run your business

If you do not have partners who will buy out your portion of the company, and you do not have a family member who is willing or able to run your business, you will want to choose a potential successor.  You will want to communicate with that person and include them in the decision, of course.  You will also want to create a plan for that person to follow for a smooth transition.  They will need access to important documents and accounts, insurance policies, financial information, access to online accounts, etc. and all that information should be well organized and in a convenient location.  In addition, providing training for that successor will be key to helping them successfully navigate their new role.

3) Probate & Estate Taxes

It is well worth the planning to avoid having your business go through probate.  Many businesses don’t survive the loss of an owner because of the estate tax burden that is incurred when the estate is inherited by a family member.  Sometimes the business must be liquidated to pay that tax liability in time.  With proper tax and legal considerations, there are ways to give the business more time to pay that tax and potentially avoid a quick and pressured sale.

Have the Peace of Mind that a Business Estate Plan Can Bring!

If you are ready to get started creating your business estate plan, then call our Lake Ozark law firm today to schedule your first consultation.  It is free!  Your business has always been a top priority for you, protecting it in the event that something unexpected happens to you should be a priority as well.  Just as you are intimately familiar with running your business, GibbonsLaw Firm is very familiar with how to protect your company with a comprehensive business estate plan.  Let us bring our expertise to the table for you.  Speak with one of our experienced Lake Ozark estate planning attorneys right away!  To stay up to date on our latest announcements, please follow us on our social media channels below.  


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, November 18, 2021

7 Tips for Staying Safe on the Roads During the Holiday Season

As we are approaching the holiday season, more people will be out on the roads traveling to see family or to take care of holiday errands.  As personal injury attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how devastating car accidents can be. At Gibbons Law Firm,  we want the 2021 holiday season to be a safe and festive time for you, so we thought we would share a few tips with you to stay safer on the roads as you are traveling.  If you are interested in ways to stay safe this holiday season, keep reading this blog! 

1) Plan Ahead and Slow Down

It is so easy to get into a rush during this time of the year, but it is just not worth it.  Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time in case you run into construction or other delays.  Avoid the urge to speed as it can not only increase your chances of being in an accident, it can cause the damage from an accident to be exponentially worse.

2) Look Around

It is important to always pay attention when driving. Sometimes you even have to pay attention for the other drivers on the road.  Be aware of your surroundings including blind spots, what’s behind you, and even what's on the sides of the road. Remember to stay out of other drivers’ blind spots as well. 

3) Defensive Driving

Just because you have the right of way does not necessarily mean the other driver knows or will respect that.  So, while you are paying attention and looking around, be thinking about how to react if other drivers don’t do what they are supposed to e.g. signal, yield, stop.  Having that in your mind will allow you to respond more quickly if something unexpected happens.

4) Keep Your Distance

Leaving stopping distance between you and the car ahead of you can give you just enough buffer time to avoid an accident.  It is recommended to leave 3 seconds of time between you and the other car.  While you are driving, pick a tree or sign or another object, and when the car in front of you passes it, start counting.  See how long it takes for you to pass it, and then adjust until you have 3 seconds of distance.

5) No Distractions

Not allowing yourself to be distracted can be extra challenging this time of the year. Everyone knows the dangers of texting or using your phone while driving.  Yet people do it anyway.  It is easy to underestimate the risks of eating or adjusting the radio or heat behind the wheel, but it only takes a few seconds of taking our eye off the road to cause a collision. Even talkative passengers or things going on outside of your vehicle can cause distractions.  Your safety is worth the discipline, so just stay focused.

6) Adjust to Weather Conditions

Weather conditions like rain or snow and ice can cause your car to handle very differently.  You may lose traction on curves or slide when braking more easily in such conditions.  By recognizing changing weather conditions and making mental adjustments you increase your stopping distance and slow your speeds when appropriate.  Also, consider having an emergency kit in case you get stranded in bad weather. 

7) Don’t Drink and Drive

We know this is a festive time and you want to celebrate with your loved ones.  But we cannot overemphasize the importance of drinking responsibly.  If you cannot find a designated driver, opt for an Uber or taxi.  With the days getting shorter, the deer hazards, and the fact that many people will be driving in unfamiliar areas, drinking and driving is a terrible mix.

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving from Gibbons Law Firm!

Our Mid-Missouri personal injury attorneys want this to be a happy and safe time for you and your family.  We hope you find these tips helpful as you travel during the holidays.  If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, call our attorneys in LakeOzark. We can help them get the compensation they deserve and need to recover.  You can reach Gibbons Law Firm at (573)348-2211 and your initial consultation is free. To keep up with the latest news and tips, be sure to follow us on our social media channels listed below!


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

When Should You Consider Getting a Prenup? 3 Examples to Consider

Talking about prenups or prenuptial agreements can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to mean that the couple getting married doubts the marriage.  It is more of a way to eliminate the fear of the unknown.  As lawyers in the Lake of the Ozarks, we cannot forget that 50% of marriages end in divorce.  While prenups are not necessary for all situations, there are some specific situations when it might be a good idea to consider them.  If you are engaged to be married and would like to know your options and seek advice for your situation, call Gibbons Law firm today to schedule a free consultation.  If you are interested in learning 5 reasons why someone may want to get a prenuptial agreement, keep reading this blog.

1) Do You Have Children from a Previous Marriage?

It can bring a lot of peace of mind to your kids to know their interests are being protected as well.  You may have preexisting assets or family heirlooms that you want to go to your children, and that may not happen without a prenuptial agreement that specifies what assets will go directly to your children (rather than your spouse e.g.) if you were to pass away.  Our experienced lawyers at Lake of the Ozarks can help guide you in the options you have for looking out for your children with a prenuptial agreement.

2) Will Your Fiance Be Bringing a Lot of Debt to the Marriage?

If your significant other has accumulated a lot of debt prior to you getting together, you might consider a prenup to establish that they are responsible for that debt, and not you.  Without a formal agreement, you may be taking on all the debt that your fiancé has as soon as you are legally married. 

3) Do you Own a Business?

Someone who has spent years of their life creating a business and establishing a livelihood and reputation as a business person may be reluctant to risk losing half of what they have worked for.  A prenup can provide some security in that situation.

4) Do you Expect to Receive a Large Inheritance or Have a Retirement Plan?

If you know that you are likely to receive a valuable inheritance of money or assets, it is likely the person leaving that to you would only include your fiancé in the event you were together.  Getting a prenup is a way to protect their wishes.

5) Do you Earn Significantly More Money Than Your Fiance?

Of course, you are willing to bring your financial assets to the marriage as a partner, but if you were no longer with your fiancé, would you be prepared to give up part of your income to him/her for life if you divorce and are required to pay alimony?  That is another example of how a prenuptial agreement can be used to safeguard your current and future money and/or assets.

Have Questions About Prenups?  

At Gibbons Law Firm, we are here to help.  Our mid-Missouri attorneys can help make the conversation easier and walk you through the process.  When it comes to whether or not to get a prenuptial, it is a personal decision and an important decision that should be made with the proper information. In so many ways in life, we think it is best to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  If you would like to talk with an attorney at our Lake Ozark Law Firm, call the number below to schedule a free consultation.  


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Estate Planning – A Basic Checklist

While it may seem uncomfortable to think about what will happen when you pass, perhaps it is better to consider the question “In what ways can I still be there for my loved ones even after I am gone?”  At Gibbons Law Firm we know that having a good estate plan in place is an act of love.  But far too many people put it off … not because they think it is not important, they know it is.  But they put it off because they think it is going to be too awkward.  

Our estate planning attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks are familiar with the estate planning process and skilled at guiding our clients through with comfort and ease.  We are here to help make the idea of estate planning a little less intimidating for you.  So, we want to share a short checklist of things you will need for your estate plan, so you don’t feel overwhelmed, or delay any longer.  If you do not yet have an estate plan, keep reading this blog to learn how to get started gathering the things you will need!



1) Assets

You will want to start a list of your assets.  Think about properties like your house, and car(s), bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, etc.  Also consider valuables like jewelry, guns, coin collections, and such.  But keep in mind, some families have more conflict over personal items like photographs or sentimental things so it can be good to include those in your estate plan as well.  The less you leave open for debate the more peaceful it may be.



2) Liabilities

Having a list of your liabilities is also helpful.  Include any mortgage(s) or lines of credit, and other loans or debts that you are responsible for.

 

3) Needs

What are the needs of your family now and in the future?  That will be an important question to direct where your assets will go.  For example, how much will be needed to cover your children’s care and educational needs?  Does your life insurance policy reflect those needs?   Who will be a guardian to your children?  You will want to name someone who you have talked to and is in agreement; and have a backup if possible.

 

4) Beneficiaries

Who do you wish to inherit your assets?  Designating who gets what, or how things will be distributed, can save your family a lot of time, money, frustration (and potential conflict). 

 

5) Directives

Outlining your wishes and naming the people who will represent you if you are unable is another key part of estate planning.  Your Mid-Missouri estate planning attorney will help you document your medical wishes with a medical care directive, and help you assign power of attorney or limited power of attorney based on your needs and wishes. Your attorney will know and guide you if there are other directives needed for your personal situation and can advise you as you decide on who these important representatives should be.


Call Gibbons Law Firm to Schedule an Appointment!

Getting an estate plan in place is not as daunting as it may seem.  If you have been avoiding the conversation about what will happen when you pass away, but know it is something you really should get taken care of, Gibbons Law Firm understands.  It is our goal to make the entire experience easy and stress free and we know just how to do it with the right team of legal experts to walk you through the process.    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm in Lake Ozark for a free consultation.  Be sure to follow us on our social media channels listed below for more tips and helpful information! 


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Having Fun and Staying Safe This Halloween - 3 Things to Look Out For

Halloween is a fun time for kids of all ages … and adults as well.  Unfortunately, it is also a time of year when accidents happen at a higher rate.  Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm knows that with a little thought and effort, there are many ways to reduce your risk of something bad happening.  We also believe it is well worth the effort.  Gibbons Law Firm has represented clients in various personal injury cases at the Lake of the Ozarks and knows quite well how devastating an accident can be for everyone involved.  This Halloween, there are sure to be some distracted pedestrians out and about.  Likewise, there are likely to be some distracted drivers, or worse, those who are impaired.  So, it is all the more important for you to be extra vigilant to keep yourself and others safe on one of the most fun nights of the year.  If you want to learn what to look out for and how to stay safe this Halloween, keep reading this blog.

1) Distracted Kiddos

As much as parents look out for their kids, teach them to walk on the sidewalks and look both ways before crossing the street … kids tend to forget all these rules when they are excited.  Candy and costumes are just too much of a distraction, and sometimes, kids will dart across an alleyway or a parking lot, or a road.  So, when driving on Halloween night, watch very carefully for children walking on the roadways or curbs.  Even if they are on the sidewalk, be prepared in case they move suddenly into the roadway.  Enter driveways and cross alleys slowly and carefully and be on the lookout for kids in dark clothing or costumes. 

If you are taking your kids out trick or treating, make sure they are carrying flashlights or glow sticks.  It also helps to use reflectors or reflective tape to help them stand out to drivers.  Check your child’s costume to make sure it fits properly and does not create a trip hazard or fire risk. Always opt for non-toxic face paint over masks, when possible, to avoid blocking your child’s vision.  Also, even though you will be with them, it is a great opportunity to teach and remind your kids to never go into someone else’s house unless you know them well and trust them.

2) Distracted Adults

Drivers on Halloween may have their own plans for the evening and may be as focused on those as the kiddos are on trick or treating.  Adults, you too, should make sure your costume does not interfere with your vision or mobility while driving.  Keep your eye on the road AND on the side of the road looking for pedestrians and any other seasonal hazards like deer.  Don’t allow things like your passengers, your cell phone, the radio, or anything else to take your attention away from driving, not even for a few seconds.  It only takes about 4-5 seconds to travel the distance of a football field when driving.  Your diligence can be the key to avoiding a personal injury case at the Lake of the Ozarks this Halloween. 

3) Drunk Drivers

It is sad to say, but around 40% of fatal car accidents occurring on Halloween each year involved at least one drunk driver.  It is a popular night for parties and drinking, to be sure.  But that does NOT mean it is ok to drive after drinking.  Having a designated driver is a must if you plan to drink at a Halloween party.  Otherwise, limiting your alcohol intake or just abstaining entirely is the right choice.

Happy Halloween from Gibbons Law Firm!

At Gibbons Law Firm, we hope you find these reminders helpful as you plan for a fun-filled weekend.  It is our hope that you are never involved in a serious accident, but if you find yourself in that position, please do not hesitate to call our Mid-Missouri Law Firm.  No matter what your involvement may be, you need legal advice and representation.  All you have to do is call our office at the number below.  Your first consultation is always free. We hope you have a SAFE and Happy Halloween from Gibbons Law Firm!


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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