St. Louis Wills & Trusts Lawyers

Wills and trusts are two of the legal workhouses used for comprehensive estate planning. For many people, a last will and testament serve as the foundation for their estate plan. For some, that may be sufficient as long as it meets Missouri legal standards. For others with more specific or greater needs, various types of trusts can be used to accomplish specific purposes with the primary benefit that a trust does not have to go through probate while a will does. 

At The Barclay Law Firm, we provide you with all available estate planning options, starting with wills and trusts. Our goal is to help you devise the estate plan that is right for you, your family, and your needs. We are here to walk you through the process of drafting and executing a valid will and/or putting together a revocable or irrevocable trust to achieve distinct goals. You can protect your family, your assets, your pets, your business, and more with the use of these vital legal instruments. 

Last Will & Testament in Missouri

A last will and testament is often the first legal document created in an estate plan. This document allows you to:

  • Designate the property you wish to pass on
  • Name your heirs and beneficiaries
  • Decide what, how, and when heirs/beneficiaries will receive assets/property
  • Name a guardian for your minor child(ren) as well as a guardian for managing the estate you leave them
  • Name an executor who is responsible for seeing that your will instructions are followed

Without a will, whatever property you have will be distributed according to Missouri law by the probate court. Even with a will, it will need to be validated by the court to be implemented. If your will is determined to be invalid, the court will decide how your assets will be distributed. Furthermore, wills can be contested in court, adding time, expense, and stress to the process depending on the complexity of the matter. Finally, any creditors or taxes owed by your estate will be paid before the distribution of your property to your family. 


Trusts are separate legal entities into which you place your assets and property which is then managed by your trustee according to your instructions. In a living trust, you create the trust while alive and can manage its assets as you see fit as the trustee. Once you pass away, your successor trustee has the responsibility to administer the trust assets per trust instructions. Trusts have become popular because they avoid probate and thus are a time-saver and money-saver for your family when passing on property and assets.

Trusts can be revocable, meaning they can be changed or terminated, or irrevocable meaning they cannot be changed. Living trusts are generally revocable. Irrevocable trusts remove all of your ownership/management rights of the assets you have transferred into them. 

The following are examples of the various types of trusts that can be created:

  • Living revocable trusts 
  • Asset protection trusts
  • Special needs trusts (for disabled family members)
  • Pet trusts
  • Charitable trusts
  • Life insurance trusts
  • Spendthrift trusts (protecting the beneficiary from creditors)

Trusts have many benefits, including the avoidance of probate, the potential reduction of taxes, setting aside funds for the care of special needs family members, pets, or heirs who may not be mature enough to responsibly manage them until a certain age, and more. 

Contact Us Today

Our firm can educate you on how trusts work and the benefits that may be available to you.

Work with a Proven Estate Planning Firm

The Barclay Law Firm has been a stable and proven legal resource for clients in the greater St. Louis area for years. We have helped countless individuals and families put together effective wills and trusts based on individualized needs and objectives. Let us use our extensive experience to help you in the vital matter of protecting your legacy and your family through these basic estate planning instruments. 

Get seasoned advice and counsel from a St. Louis wills and trusts attorney in a complimentary consultation. Contact The Barclay Law Firm online or at (314) 916-6301 to get started.

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