618-687-4800 bost.steven@gmail.com

How Can We Help?

The attorneys at Miller & Bost have close to 40 years of experience advising and advocating for their clients.
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Our Mission

Our mission is to deliver unmatched legal representation to the people of Southern Illinois. We strive to do this professionally, ethically, affordably, and with an emphasis on open communication and personal attention.
Miller and Bost

Areas of Practice

  • Estate Planning
  • Living Wills
  • Powers of Attorney and Appointment
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate & Estate Administration
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business Formation: incorporation, partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), etc.
  • Municipal and Administrative Law
  • Employment Law
  • Business Formation and General Counsel

Frequently Asked Questions

We have answered a few common questions. Don’t see your question here? Please contact us.

What is an Estate Plan?
Estate planning is how an individual or family plans the transfer of assets prior to death. A personalized estate plan will assist in preserving the maximum amount of wealth for the intended beneficiaries and as well as providing for the needs of the individual prior to death.

Estate planning is much more than having a will. A well drafted estate plan will assist in avoiding the chaos and waste of an unplanned estate, provide a sense of security to the individual, and peace-of-mind to surviving loved ones.

What is a trust?
A trust is a right in property (real or personal) which is held in a fiduciary relationship by one party for the benefit of another. The trustee holds title to the trust property, the beneficiary receives the benefits of the trust. Trusts have the benefit of avoiding probate, which is often a lengthy and costly legal process.

A trust is also a form of property ownership. The individual establishing a trust is the “grantor” or “settlor.” The trustee is the “legal” owner of the trust property and their name is any title documents. The beneficiary receives benefits of ownership, including the right to income from the investments of the trusts. A “living” or “inter vivos” trust is one that is established and funded while the grantor is still living. The grantor typically names his or her self as trustee and beneficiary. “Testamentary” trusts trust are established under the terms of a will, after the death of the grantor.

The advantages of avoiding probate via a trust are more timely distribution to heirs and the reduction of the expenses typically incurred in probate (costs incurred by the estate, and reducing the amount of assets ultimately payable to the intended beneficiaries).

What is a will?
A will is a written and witnessed statement directing who will handle your financial affairs, and who will receive your money and other property, when you die. The property left in your name at the time of your death is called your “estate.” The people you name in your will to receive your property are called “legatees.” They may or may not be your “heirs.”

An “Executor” is a person named in your will to be in charge of your estate. The job of the executor is to determine what you own at the time of your death, document all property, collect all property, maintain your property until sold or passed to your legatees, pay your bills, file your final tax returns, and finish up any other financial business required of your “estate” after your death. Once all estate matters are completed, the remaining property will be distributed to the legatees in your will.

A well planned will allows you to distribute your property according to you intentions, to dictate who will be trusted to raise you minor children, and to instruct any additional intentions (method of burial, care of pets, etc.)

Do I need a will?
You may assume that a will is unnecessary since states laws exist that govern the division and distribution of your assets after your death in the absence of a will. Or, you may feel that the size of your estate doesn’t warrant a will. However, not having a will means that the state (via statutes and the courts) will make all decisions regarding the well-being and security of your heirs and division of assets with no regard to potentially negative tax implications for your heirs.
Do I need a new or updated will?
You should review your will following: a change in marital status; a change in state residence; change in beneficiaries; death of a named beneficiary; death of a named executor, trustee or guardian; change in applicable tax law; the birth of a child; or a sizeable increase or decrease in wealth. Regardless, you should review your will once every five year to ensure that the document still reflects your intentions. If you desire a change it should be done with the assistance of an attorney, who can recommend whether to amend the will or whether it would be more prudent to create a new will, in accordance with the laws of the respective state.

Get in Touch

Miller & Bost provide counsel in a number of legal fields, to include Estate Planning, Real Estate Transactions, Business Formation, Municipal Law and Employment Law. Please let us know how we can help.

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