314-250-3560         222 South Central Avenue, Suite 600, St. Louis, Missouri 63105

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Wills Trusts And Estates

Practice Areas

Comprehensive estate planning covers nearly every aspect of life. It begins with protecting yourself and your personal dignity, and extends to protecting your loved ones and your hard-earned assets.

Follow the links below to learn more about our Estate Planning services provided at Joseph R. Burcke, L.L.C.:

Fundamental Estate Planning

There are many legal strategies involved in estate planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care documents.  


To learn more about the fundamental estate planning view the home page.


Probate & Estate Administration

Probate and estate administration are the processes through which estate assets are transferred after death. Assets to be transferred under terms of a will go through probate. Assets transferred outside of a will, such as by operation of law, or those planned for in a trust are handled through an Administration process. Administration also refers to the process whereby assets are transferred by rules of the state when there is no will. We can help make the process easier, more efficient, and provide peace of mind during a difficult time. 

One of the great common miss-perceptions about probate is that having a Last Will and Testament will cause avoidance of the probate court at death.  Nothing could be further from the truth. When you execute your Will, you are making your advanced registration for Probate at the time of your death.  This is because wills do not avoid probate; they anticipate the probate of your assets upon your death. 


For a complete discussion of the Decedent Estate Process go to the practice area page entitled Probate Administration.


The other probate process (one that most people overlook) is Guardianship Proceedings.


Guardianships (and its related procedure, conservatorships) are the legal remedy for the situation where the title owner cannot legally sign his/her name because of substantial disability.


Guardianships occur in several contexts:  The most commonly known is when death leaves as survivor-beneficiaries minor children under the age of 18.   The lesser known context is substantial disability.


For a complete discussion of Guardianships and Conservatorships go to the practice  area page entitled Guardianships.

Coming Soon!
Learn more about Trust Litigation.

Elder Law

Elder law is another aspect of estate planning, focusing primarily on the needs of families and individuals as they age. Issues of aging include senior housing and home care, long-term (or nursing home) care, guardianships and health care documents, Medicare and Medicaid. 
Learn more about planning for Long-Term Care.

Charitable Planning

We encourage and assist the tradition of giving to charitable causes, including the employment of tax-advantaged strategies that maximize the value of your gift. We help clients make charitable gifts and practice good stewardship in the most tax-efficient manner. 


Learn more about Charitable Giving Strategies.

Veterans Benefits

"Aid and Attendance Pension" is a special Veteran's Program designed to help veterans and/or their surviving spouses receive the financial support necessary to ensure their continuing care in their own home or in an assisted living or nursing home setting. Benefits may also be available for house-bound individuals that require daily assistance to maintain their health, dignity and safety.
Learn more about Veteran's Aid and Attendance.

Special Needs Planning

Special Needs Estate Planning focuses on providing for the special needs of our loved ones with disabilities when we are no longer there to organize and advocate on their behalf. Parents of children with special needs must make careful estate planning choices to coordinate all of the legal, financial, and special care needs of their children – both now and in the future. 
Learn more about Missouri Special Needs.

Estate Tax Planning

Historically speaking, the federal estate tax is an excise tax levied on the transfer of a person's assets after death. In actuality, it is neither a death tax nor an inheritance tax, but more accurately a transfer tax. There are three distinct aspects to federal estate taxes that comprise what is called the Unified Transfer Tax: Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes, and Generation- Skipping Transfer Taxes. Legal planning to avoid or minimize federal estate taxes is both a prudent and an important aspect of comprehensive estate planning. 
Learn more about Estate Tax Planning.

Business Succession

Family businesses are the backbone of the American economy. From agriculture to services, technology and manufacturing, family businesses generate an estimated one-half of the U.S. Gross National Product and pay half of all wages earned in this country. 
Find out how we can help you preserve your family business.

Medicaid Crisis Planning

Finding and affording quality care on short notice can be stressful and draining. We can help you determine the best options for care and how to qualify for Medicaid to help finance them.
Learn more about Medicaid Crisis Planning.

Asset Protection

Asset protection planning involves making prudent decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits, creditors or bankruptcies. 
Find out how we can help you protect your assets today.


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