Overland Park Life & Estate Planning Attorney

Kansas And Missouri Life Stages Estate Planning Attorney in Overland Park and Kansas City

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What is Life and Estate Planning?

Estate planning encompasses various legal strategies such as wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care documents. Many new clients are unaware that they already have an estate plan in place. Without specific legal planning, Kansas’ intestacy laws dictate how their estate will be distributed after death. However, this may not align with their desired plan. To ensure your intentions are followed, it is crucial to establish a properly drafted estate plan tailored to your needs with the assistance of an estate planning lawyer.

Your Last Will and Testament

Your last will and testament is a vital component of a comprehensive estate plan. When a person passes away without a will, known as dying "intestate," state laws determine the distribution of their assets.

Here are some key points to understand about wills:

  • A will only holds legal authority after death, offering no assistance in managing a person's affairs during incapacitation caused by illness or injury.
  • A will does not help an estate avoid probate. Instead, it serves as the legal document presented to the probate court, essentially acting as an "admission ticket" to probate.
  • Nominating guardians (or backup parents) for minor children in your will is essential. All parents of minors should document their choice of guardians to prevent potential conflicts and ensure the well-being of their children.

Trusts: Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Testamentary Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, etc.

Trusts come in various forms, ranging from simple to complex, and serve different purposes in legal, personal, investment, or tax planning. At its core, a trust is a legal entity involving at least three parties: the trust-maker, the trustee (trust manager), and the trust beneficiary. Often, these three roles are fulfilled by a single person or a married couple. For instance, with a revocable living trust, an individual may establish the trust (the trust-maker) and appoint themselves as the current trustee (trust manager), managing the trust assets for their personal benefit (trust beneficiary).

Establishing a trust can yield several advantages, including the avoidance of probate court. In most cases, assets held in a revocable living trust can be immediately transferred to the trust beneficiaries or heirs upon the trust-maker(s)'s death, bypassing the need for probate. Certain trusts may also provide tax benefits for both the trust-maker and the beneficiary. They can safeguard assets from creditors or designate someone to manage and invest property on behalf of the trust-maker(s) and the named beneficiaries. Moreover, well-drafted trusts remain effective even if the trust-maker dies or becomes incapacitated. Contact our estate planning lawyer to explore the potential benefits of establishing a trust for you and your family.

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Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants another person (the attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on your behalf for specific matters. The extent of these powers depends on the terms outlined in the document. Powers of attorney cease upon the maker's death and may also terminate if the maker (principal) becomes incapacitated. To designate a backup decision-maker in case of incapacity, it is advisable to use a durable power of attorney. It is crucial to update durable powers of attorney regularly, as financial institutions and banks may be hesitant to honor a power of attorney that is over a year old.

Request a consultation with your Olathe Estate Planning Attorney, Kyle Krull.

Life Stages Estate Planning in Kansas and Missouri

Planning For Singles

Whether you just turned 18 or are 118, one thing you share with your married counterparts is the need for essential estate planning.

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Planning For Married Couples

If you already have an estate plan created when you were Single, then you must bring your estate plan up-to-code to reflect your wedding vows.

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Planning For Minor Children

Are you the parent of minor children? If yes, then they are your most valuable treasure. So, what arrangements have you made for their care?

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Planning For Blended Families

Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the critical estate planning challenges confronting blended families. A lot of those who have blended family house-holds don't even have their estate plans up-to-code.

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Planning During Peak Earning Years

Do you have children who are college-bound or already there? Do you have a wedding scheduled (or one or more down the road)? Perhaps you are beginning to help aging parents with personal, health care and financial responsibilities.

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Planning When Nearing Retirement

Retirement is often an exciting, yet bittersweet time of life. Chances are good that all of your children have left the nest with lives and growing families of their own.

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Planning for Retirement and Legacy

Estate planning for retirement ensures that you, your adult children, and parents have your legal ducks-in-a-row. After all, you likely have witnessed what can happen when families are not up-to-code with their estate planning.

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Planning When Single Again

Whether due to divorce or death, you are now Single again. You may have children and even grandchildren. In any event, you need to create (or revisit) your estate plan.

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Overland Park, KS 66085

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