A simple will is usually not so simple for your beneficiaries, who may face a long and costly probate proceeding simply to receive the property you wanted them to have. A comprehensive estate plan that includes a living trust and pour-over will can help you avoid probate.
At The Mathews Group, LC, our lawyers help families create estate plans. For a no-cost consultation, call 913-660-0664 or complete the simple contact form on this website. From our law office in Leawood, KS, we represent clients throughout the Kansas City metro area in Kansas and Missouri.
Estate Planning With Wills and Trusts
An estate plan consists of several legal documents, which work together to accomplish your goals. The components include:
- A last will and testament tells the probate judge how you would like your assets distributed upon your death. It can also name a guardian for your children if you and your spouse should both die before your children reach 18. Unfortunately, you still have to go to court to get approval before assets can be distributed to beneficiaries. Probate is a public proceeding that can be costly and time-consuming.
- A trust is a contract between the grantor and the trustee. As long as you live, you would typically be the trustee. After your death, assets in the trust pass directly to the secondary trustee, who would usually be your spouse or one of your children. A pour-over will ensures that all property is transferred into your trust when you die, enabling your beneficiaries to avoid the probate process.
- A durable power of attorney enables you to name a trusted person to handle your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.
- If you are in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery, a living will can let family members and doctors know whether you want feeding tubes and other artificial life support. Your health care proxy names someone to carry out your wishes.
- A HIPAA authorization (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is needed to ensure that the person you name as your representative under a health care proxy will have access to your medical information.
Attorney Joshua Mathews is founder of The Guardianship Project, which provides free guardianship directives to low-income families.
Overland Park Wills and Trusts Attorney
You will never be charged for your initial consultation with a Kansas City estate planning attorney at our firm. To schedule a consultation, call 913-660-0664 or complete our contact form.