Just Do It – Get your Will Drawn Up

Get Your Will Drawn Up – Just Do It

As Shia LeBeouf said, Just Do it. The need for a good will or trust is imperative for all people.  The Wall Street Journal just ran an article on how you should not delay, but instead work hard to get the will drafted. See our estate planning attorneys for more.

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Why You Should Get Around to Drawing Up a Will

No one likes to think about dying �” and that is probably one reason most Americans lack wills.

Fewer than half of American adults (42 percent) have a will, according to a survey published this week on Caring.com, a website that offers resources for older Americans and their caregivers.

The most common excuse given for not having a will (or an alternative legal tool called a living trust) was, “I just haven’t gotten around to it,” cited by nearly half of survey participants who lacked one.

“Most people run from, and don’t want to think about, their own death,” said Arthur Kovacs, a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif.

People are more likely, though, to have important estate planning documents as they age. Just one in five millennials �” adults 18 to 36 �” has a will, the survey found. But 81 percent of people 72 and older have one.

The survey, by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, questioned more than 1,000 adults by telephone in January. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus four percentage points. (Caring.com makes money from advertising and from referrals to senior care facilities.)

Having a will is important to ensure that your money and belongings are distributed according to your wishes after you die, said Sally Hurme, an elder-law attorney affiliated with AARP. “It determines how anything you own is going to be distributed to people you want to receive it, after your death,” she said.

If you die without a will, your estate will be settled in accordance with state law. Details vary by state, but assets typically are distributed using a hierarchy of survivors. Assets go to first to a spouse, then to children, then your siblings, and so on.

People often fail to understand, however, that certain accounts take precedence over a will, Ms. Hurme said. If you jointly own a home or a bank account, for instance, the house, and the funds in the account, will go to the joint holder �” even if your will directs otherwise. Similarly, retirement accounts and life insurance policies are distributed to the beneficiaries you designate, so it is important to keep them up-to-date.

Health care powers of attorney, which let a trusted person make medical decisions for you when you are unable, are more common than wills, the survey found. More than half of adults have granted someone legal authority to make treatment decisions.

Older people are more likely to have a health care power of attorney, sometimes called a health care proxy, the survey found. But Katie Roper, vice president of Caring.com, advises that everyone 18 or older �” not just elderly people �” should have one. If you have a children 18 or older away at college, she said, making sure they have such documents can help make sure you are able to discuss their treatment, should an emergency arise.

Mr. Roper said she was especially surprised at the survey’s finding that just 36 percent of adults with minor children have a will. An important function of a will, she said, is for parents to name a guardian to care for their children, in the event of their death.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is discovering the right devices to implement your standard requirements. We do this making use of the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a personalized strategy at the lowest possible expense.
http://ift.tt/2lHsWAn
The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law firm. We focus on estate planning so that you can be assured that you are getting the most up to date methods.

http://ift.tt/1JU4Bfo


The Eastman Law Firm
Estate planning attorneys, focusing on Wills, Trusts and Probate law.
4901 W. 136th Street, Ste. 240
Leawood
KANSAS (KS)
66224
United States

Phone: (913) 908-9113

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

http://ift.tt/1UKI2ze
Blue Springs location at:

1200 NW S Outer Rd.
Blue Springs, MO 64015.
Call Jerry at (816)224-3133

See our directory page here and here.

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Do Not Delay Your Estate Planning

Keeping your Estate Plan Current for the Benefit of your Heirs

It’s not surprise to us in the estate planning world, but a recent study shows that only 26% of all wealthy individuals have a complete estate plan.  We totally understand.  There are plenty of reasons as to why to delay an estate plan; most of these reasons are really excuses.  There is a great article below by Barron’s that shows some of the reasons. See our estate planning page for more.

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Don’t Delay Estate Planning, for the Sake of Your Heirs

Do you need to make estate-planning decisions?

Only 26% of the 3,105 wealthy individuals surveyed in a 2016 study by RBC Wealth Management and Scorpio Partnership had a complete estate-planning strategy�”including an estate plan, a will, and a detailed philanthropic mission�”in place for transferring wealth to the next generation. Only 54% of those surveyed had even prepared a will, and most respondents with wills hadn’t updated them. In other words, $1.5 trillion of the $3.2 trillion to be passed down to the next generation in the U.S. is without direction.
Passing your wealth to heirs requires care. Start early, and then revise your initial strategy as you age. Illustration: William Waitzman for Barron’s
While it is utterly human to want to push off decisions that force us to reckon with mortality, Bill Ringham, a vice president of wealth strategy at RBC Wealth Management, claims that the real reason people avoid estate planning is much more mundane. Ringham, whose firm oversees $74.6 billion in assets, says people delay because they don’t know what they want to happen at a distant point in the future. They reason that they’ll have a clearer picture about what heirs should get at some later date.

Don’t let that stop you from getting started, he warns. Accept that crafting the perfect wealth-transfer strategy from the get-go isn’t possible, and that it will need to be adapted to changing circumstances as you age. For example, a client with $6 million created a plan to distribute his wealth to his children when they turned 25. But as the children grew up, he realized that inheriting millions of dollars at that age could become a real burden. So he changed the transfer time to when the youngest child turned 40. Lesson: People too often overlook the fact they can periodically update their strategies, which is exactly what they should be doing.

Even with a plan in place, your heirs need to know what’s going on. Ringham says that “people prefer to talk more about the big picture, omitting important facts like the family’s net worth or a ballpark estimate of the inheritance.” The study shows that 60% of those surveyed said they are uncomfortable sharing details about the wealth transfer with their heirs; 13% preferred not to talk about it at all.

But the gritty details are key in helping an heir prepare for an inheritance, says Ringham. Without detailed conversations, it’s easy for wrong assumptions to get built into estate plans, and they potentially could be costly to undo.

One RBC client wrote his 30-something son into the estate plan as the future owner of his business, without any prior discussion. Encouraged by an advisor to talk directly with his son, the client finally asked, “Are you interested in owning the family business?” He was floored when the subsequent discussion revealed that the son was interested in the business only if his father continued working in it. So the client removed the language that transferred the business to his son, and decided to put the business up for sale before he retired.

We can’t say it enough: Start planning early, however imperfectly. Those who have inherited wealth themselves do the best job preparing their heirs, in all likelihood because they were frustrated by how the inheritance process went for them. Furthermore, research shows that the earlier in life the conversation with heirs starts, the smoother the wealth transfer goes.

Of those surveyed, 66% were confident in their knowledge about wealth and money when they started learning about the family’s fortune before age 18. The level of confidence steadily declined as the age bracket of information-sharing increased. The teenage years are the ideal time to have those financial conversations and prepare your children for the wealth transfer, Ringham says. The average person starts learning financial literacy at 27, a decade after the optimal starting point.

It’s simple: Strive to do a better job�”for the love of your heirs.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is discovering the right tools to implement your standard needs. We do this using the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a customized plan at the lowest possible cost.
http://ift.tt/2l43h45
The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law practice. We concentrate on estate planning so that you can be assured that you are getting the most up to date methods.

http://ift.tt/1JU4Bfo


The Eastman Law Firm
Estate planning attorneys, focusing on Wills, Trusts and Probate law.
4901 W. 136th Street, Ste. 240
Leawood
KANSAS (KS)
66224
United States

Phone: (913) 908-9113

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

http://ift.tt/1UKI2ze
Blue Springs location at:

1200 NW S Outer Rd.
Blue Springs, MO 64015.
Call Jerry at (816)224-3133

See our directory page here and here.

Estate Planning and Blended Families

Estate Planning – Blended Families

There are lots of issues with the new world that we live in.  The old world of a single nuclear family still exists, but in much fewer numbers than in years past.  So, as you can believe, we see a lot of new types of families, included families that are blended. These families have their own issues and we are constantly working with them to help them see their estate planning needs. See the estate planning tips below.

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Estate Planning for Blended Families

Many Americans have so-called “blended” families. In such a family, one or both spouses have children from a previous marriage. Estate planning can be difficult for a spouse in such a family who wants to provide for a surviving spouse and for children from an ex-spouse.

A popular technique is to use a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust. In such a trust:

* At the death of the first spouse, assets pass to a trust for the survivor. No one else can receive distributions from the trust.

* At the death of the second spouse, any assets left in the QTIP trust go to beneficiaries named by the first spouse to die. Typically, that will be the children of the first spouse to die.

On paper, such an arrangement sounds like it takes care of both sides. However, in many remarriages the surviving spouse is much younger than the one who died. In fact, the survivor may be close to the age of the children of the spouse who died. Those children may have to wait many years for their inheritance.

A better approach is to provide for biological children as well as for a surviving spouse at the first death. Assets can be divided at that time. If an asset division is impractical, life insurance may help to provide some inheritance for all parties.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is discovering the right devices to execute your fundamental requirements. We do this making use of the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a customized plan at the lowest possible cost.
http://ift.tt/2k4yoIe
The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law practice. We focus on estate planning so that you can be assured that you are getting the most as much as date techniques. We train extensively so that we can supply the precise right match for your desires and desires. We do not require everybody into a single mold. Instead, we try and see to it that everyone is treated with the most personalized option that best fulfills their requirements.

http://ift.tt/1JU4Bfo


The Eastman Law Firm
Estate planning attorneys, focusing on Wills, Trusts and Probate law.
4901 W. 136th Street, Ste. 240
Leawood
KANSAS (KS)
66224
United States

Phone: (913) 908-9113

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

http://ift.tt/1UKI2ze
Blue Springs location at:

1200 NW S Outer Rd.
Blue Springs, MO 64015.
Call Jerry at (816)224-3133

See our directory page here and here.