Olathe, Kansas Life & Estate Planning Attorney

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Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in Olathe, KS:
Trusted Advocate For You & Your Family

Estate planning encompasses various legal strategies such as last wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, general durable powers of attorney, and health care directives. Many new clients are unaware they already have an estate plan. Without specific legal planning, Kansas intestacy laws may dictate how your estate will be distributed after death. However, this may not align with your objectives. To ensure your objectives are followed, it is crucial to establish a properly drafted, executed, and implemented estate plan tailored to your needs with the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer. Once that estate plan is in place, you need to continue working with your lawyer over the years to keep your estate plan up to date.

Your Last Will and Testament

Your last will is a vital component of a comprehensive estate plan. When a person passes away without a last will, known as dying "intestate," Kansas law determines the distribution of their assets.

Here are some key points to understand about last wills:

  • A last will only has legal authority after death, offering no assistance in managing your personal, health care, and financial decisions during incapacitation caused by illness or injury.
  • A last will does not help an estate avoid probate. Instead, it serves as the legal document presented to the probate court after your death, acting as an "admission ticket" to probate.
  • Nominating guardians (or backup parents) for minor children in your last 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.
Olathe Kansas estate planning lawyer

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: legal, personal, investment, or tax planning. At its core, a trust is a legal entity involving at least three parties: the trustmaker, 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 trustmaker) 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 beneficiary upon the trustmaker's death, bypassing the need for probate. Certain trusts may also provide tax benefits for both the trustmaker and the beneficiary. They can safeguard assets from creditors or designate someone to manage and invest property on behalf of the trustmaker and the named beneficiary. Moreover, well-drafted trusts remain effective even if the trustmaker dies or becomes incapacitated. Contact our estate planning lawyer to explore the potential benefits of establishing a trust for you and your family.

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants another person, known as 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 by you, known as the principal. The authority to act under a power of attorney ceases upon the principal's death and may also terminate if the (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 your durable powers of attorney regularly, as financial institutions and banks may be hesitant to honor a power of attorney that is more than a year old.

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

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