Estate Planning – Keeping the Peace with your Heirs

Maintaining Peace Among Your Heirs

Like most estate planning law firms, we deal with a  lot of clients. Unfortunately, we do see more than our fair share of disputes.  Sometimes we deal with these in the planning stage, but we mostly see them after someone has died.  We regularly get calls from heirs that feel like they have been left out, or that the other heirs have unfairly manipulated the deceased to get more than their fair share.  The article below from the NY Times is a good overview of how to maintain the peace with the heirs.

See more about Overland Park Estate Planning by visiting our site. See more below on the issues with estate planning.  https://theeastmanlawfirm.com/

Overland Park estate planning attorneys

https://www.nytimes.com/svc/oembed/html/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2018%2F03%2F22%2Fyour-money%2Fheres-how-to-maintain-peace-among-your-heirs.html#?secret=P5wwmaxwWS

Here’s How to Maintain Peace Among Your Heirs

Deciding how your children should inherit your assets after your death might be one of the most difficult processes parents will undertake �” especially if they have more than one child and complicated assets. But more difficult, and often overlooked, is how your children should behave toward each other if they are not happy with the outcome.

• One of the biggest errors parents can make is spending too much time creating the legal entities known as trusts and too little time on the kinds of conversations that will help ensure that trust among siblings is maintained when parents are no longer around to settle disputes.

• When creating the legal documents parents often name siblings trustees of other siblings’ trusts �” or even pick a friend or relative to do the job. And it might seem like a natural thing to do.

But keeping these complicated and stressful decisions in the family or among friends can create a heavy burden. Trustees have very specific legal and financial responsibilities that a family member may not understand. And they risk legal entanglements if they fail to act in a responsible manner.

“You have to understand what you’re asking someone to do,” said Sharon Klein, president of the New York Region of Wilmington Trust. “Even the appearance of impropriety can cause problems. The people who are left out feel antagonistic.”

• This is where corporate trustees come in. “They have a lot of experience,” said Lynn Halpern, managing director and senior fiduciary counsel at Bessemer Trust. “They’re dispassionate.”

They’re not free, however. A corporate trustee can cost about half a percent of the account’s value per year (although that doesn’t include money management fees, which can hover around 1 percent, depending on the account size). But they’re cheaper than years of lawyers if a legal fight ensues.

• Of course, picking the right person to stand in for you and spare your children is key. William D. Zabel, founding partner at Schulte, Roth and Zabel, had blunt advice: “Don’t use the small town bank.”

As one of the country’s leading trust and estates attorneys, Mr. Zabel said he’s seen many instances in which the bankers, attorneys, accountants and other professionals in a small town close ranks when out-of-town attorneys arrive to challenge the decisions they’ve been making. The locals may favor the local children over the ones who moved away and can play favorites in subtle ways. Equal is not fair if one sibling gets cash and the other gets real estate or securities set to appreciate, for example.

Of course, how this kind of situation is handled depends on the bank and the town. Some might argue they know the family and its needs far better than outsiders.

• Outsiders aren’t impervious to mistakes. The widow of an American Airlines executive recently won an $8 billion judgment against J.P. Morgan Chase for how it managed distributions between her and the man’s children from a previous marriage.

This is an extreme case, but it behooves the person setting up the trust to put in provisions that would allow a trustee to be replaced. This generally requires the beneficiaries to agree on the terms but it must be put in the legal documents ahead of time, Ms. Klein said.

• Another consideration is whether siblings should be expected to work out their disputes after parents die �” especially if they couldn’t do it while their parents were alive.

Separate trusts for each child �” not one large children’s trust �” can mitigate some of this friction. “One sibling is then free to raise their own challenges,” if he or she disagrees with something an adviser has done, Ms. Halpern said. “The other benefit of allowing different family members to have their own trusts is they can choose their own trustees, and they don’t have to have the same trustees across the board.”

It also keeps siblings from knowing each other’s business.

• Finally, to give your children the best chance of staying on good terms with each other, advisers say write both a financial will that leaves them the assets and an ethical will that conveys guidance to them.

“I hear a lot that my kids never fight and this won’t be a problem,” said Coventry Edwards-Pitt, chief wealth advisory officer at Ballentine Partners. “I say you don’t know that until you really live through it. You won’t really know until you put them in it. ”

Who’d want to chance it?

 

Estate Planning Lawyers in Overland Park KS

Estate Planning is really about assurance. What estate planning is all about is finding the right tools to execute your basic needs. What that implies is that we utilize the most advanced legal files to correctly execute your desires. We customize each and every strategy so that you get precisely what you want. We do this using the most up to date tools so that we can prepare a customized strategy at the lowest possible cost. Kindly call us today with any questions.

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Friday

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Cloudy. Lows overnight in the upper 40s.

Partly Cloudy

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03/31

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Mostly cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. High around 60F. WSW winds shifting to NNW at 15 to 25 mph.

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70%

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Snow showers. Temps nearly steady in the low to mid 30s. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 70%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.

Ice Pellets

Monday

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50%

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Light freezing rain in the morning…scattered thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. Thunder possible. High 44F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 50%.

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Tuesday

04/03

100%

Chance of a Thunderstorm
Thunderstorms in the morning, then cloudy skies late. High 44F. Winds N at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 100%.

The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law practice. We focus on estate planning so that you can be ensured that you are getting the most as much as date techniques. We train extensively so that we can offer the exact right match for your desires and desires. We do not require everyone into a single mold. Instead, we attempt and ensure that everybody is treated with the most personalized solution that best satisfies their needs.



The Eastman Law Firm(913) 908-9113

7450 W 130th St Ste. 145
Overland Park
KS
66213

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

See our directory page here and here and our lawyers.com profile here.

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Estate Planning – Life After Death Through Trusts

A trust is More than Just Death Planning; It’s Life Planning as well

Like most estate planning law firms, we deal with a  lot of clients that need revocable trusts.  They obviously want to be able to protect their heirs and their assets and utilize the trust structure to best meet those needs.  However, some clients are using trusts during their lifetime as well. As we see an aging population, a trust is able to be implemented with the amount of flexibility that is needed to meet the person’s needs during their life.  This includes health problems that are not necessarily end-of-life problems.  A great example is a heart attack where someone is disabled for several months, but is then able to become fully functional again.

See more about Overland Park Estate Planning by visiting our site. See more below on the issues with estate planning.  https://theeastmanlawfirm.com/

Overland Park estate planning attorneys

https://www.nytimes.com/svc/oembed/html/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2018%2F03%2F22%2Fyour-money%2Ftrust-wills-inheritance.html#?secret=SWP6AG0AQD

Life After Your Death? Here’s Why You Should Have a Trust

Everyone needs a will, but, increasingly, estate planners say people also could benefit from setting up a trust while they are alive. That step would help assure that their assets are distributed more quickly, their bills paid promptly and continuously and personal information about property and other assets be kept out of the public eye.

Gerard F. Joyce Jr., CreditFiduciary Trust Company International

Trusts have often been thought of as vehicles for wealthy people to dispose of their businesses, art work and other high-value items. But estate planners like Gerard F. Joyce Jr. of Fiduciary Trust Company International, the private wealth division of Franklin Templeton Investments, say certain types of trusts can be useful for those who are not ultrawealthy.

One of those is a revocable trust, which can be changed in a person’s lifetime. “It is the workhorse of modern estate planning,” said Mr. Joyce, who is also a lawyer. “A properly funded revocable trust can avoid the need for a public probate court proceeding after death that can take time and keep money from being immediately available.”

And “a trust makes sure that bills are paid during the person’s lifetime even when the person is incapacitated,” he said.

The number of people who may lack the capacity to control their own affairs is growing because people are living longer and the number of individuals who have dementia or Alzheimer’s is rising, added Stacy K. Mullaney, chief fiduciary officer of Fiduciary Trust Company, a Boston-based wealth management company that shares a similar name but is an independent entity.

“We are seeing more situations where people need this assistance,” said Ms. Mullaney. Currently, 5.5 million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer’s, and the disease is the fifth-leading cause of death for adults aged 65 and over, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“If assets that have been titled in one name are retitled in the name of the trust, the bills keep being paid without interruption in the person’s lifetime,” said Ms. Mullaney, who is also a lawyer.

And that can apply to any situation where financial support is given to family members, she added.

“Many grandparents, for example, pay for the college education of their grandchildren, but an incapacity can interrupt that. A trust would make sure that the tuition is paid.”

Unlike an irrevocable trust, where assets are dispersed with a greater permanency, a revocable trust can be altered during the holder’s lifetime if he or she decides to handle their assets differently. If a person’s financial situation changes, or realizes he or she has simply made a mistake, the individual can close the trust and void the arrangement.

The trust “really does almost everything a will does, but it is more of a private document, and it is not subject to outsider review or approval,” Mr. Joyce said. A will, he noted, can need approval from a court, and changes typically involve additional court scrutiny. Each state has its own laws and rules.

There can be catches to trusts, however. The trust is controlled by the person who sets it up, and often the person will choose one or more co-trustees to help manage the trust. That choice is where things can get tricky.

Choosing a trustee is not just about someone you trust. Knowing how to invest is a key skill for a trustee, estate planners agree.

“Probably the most important decision in picking a trustee is the ability to invest over the long term,” Mr. Joyce said. “It’s common to have a surviving spouse or a child, but it needs to be someone with the time and inclination to do that well.”

While irrevocable trusts are often used for tax planning, Ms. Mullaney said, “revocable trusts are really about life planning.”

 

Estate Planning Lawyers in Overland Park KS

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is finding the right tools to execute your basic needs. What that implies is that we make use of the most sophisticated legal documents to properly execute your desires. We customize each and every plan so that you get exactly what you want. We do this using the most current tools so that we can prepare a personalized strategy at the lowest possible cost. Kindly call us today with any concerns.

Overcast

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Generally cloudy. High near 50F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.

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A mainly sunny sky. High 57F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

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Intervals of clouds and sunshine in the morning with more clouds for later in the day. High 54F. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.

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Overcast. High 38F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

Chance of a Thunderstorm

Monday

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50%

Chance of a Thunderstorm
Rain showers in the morning with scattered thunderstorms arriving in the afternoon. High 52F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law firm. We focus on estate planning so that you can be ensured that you are getting the most up to date techniques. We train extensively so that we can provide the exact right match for your wants and desires. We don’t force everybody into a single mold. Instead, we attempt and make certain that everyone is treated with the most customized solution that best meets their needs.



The Eastman Law Firm(913) 908-9113

7450 W 130th St Ste. 145
Overland Park
KS
66213

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

See our directory page here and here and our lawyers.com profile here.

Estate Planning – Financial Advisors

Finding the Right Financial Advisor

As an estate planning firm, we deal with a lot of financial advisors.  Some are very good and some are not.  Like the article below, we recommend interviewing several to determine which one you are comfortable and then testing at least two of them to see if you are good with the results.  Remember, you are going to need them and you really need to be comfortable with them.

See more about Overland Park Estate Planning by visiting our site. See more below on the issues with estate planning.  https://theeastmanlawfirm.com/

Overland Park estate planning attorneys

https://www.nytimes.com/svc/oembed/html/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2018%2F03%2F22%2Fyour-money%2Ffinancial-adviser.html#?secret=VUER1oS1Pv

To Find the Right Financial Adviser, ‘Do a Beauty Contest’

SAN FRANCISCO �” When my husband and I came into some money, we dutifully interviewed potential financial advisers, from big banks to boutique firms. Recommendations and interviews, however, failed to persuade us to hire anyone.

At one San Francisco bank a wealth manager promised VIP theater tickets as a perk if we picked her. As we walked out of the bank’s gleaming granite-clad headquarters, I said, “Our money would be paying for this.”

Freebies and dazzling buildings were impressive, but we knew that as customers we’d ultimately underwrite these �” and theater tickets seemed to us no proof of performance.

Frustrated, I turned to a friend who grew up around money and had far more experience with investing. “You need to do a beauty contest,” she said.

Pick two companies, she advised, then divide up the money, hire both, and compare the results. Then we’d know whom we could trust based on facts, and not just feelings. For a skeptical journalist like myself, it sounded like the perfect plan.

We whittled down the contenders and landed on two finalists who were at opposite ends of the money management spectrum.

One was an East Coast bank with offices in California. We were smitten with their staff �” they seemed whip smart, were the only firm that shared actual numbers of past returns, and they had an outstanding reputation for personalized service.

Our other finalist had virtually no customer service. Relatively new at the time, it was an automated investment service, a so-called robo-adviser with an algorithm to trade funds. Using an online questionnaire we could determine our risk tolerance, but that was as personalized as it got. (This article isn’t about promoting specific businesses, so I’m not naming companies.)

The two companies were also far apart in other ways. The robo-adviser charged an annual fee of 0.25 percent of the value of our investment, and we could put down as little as $2,500. The bank demanded annual fees of more than one percent of a portfolio’s value, and said it only worked with clients with $5 million or more to invest. (We invested substantially less than this, and they worked with us anyway).

Both companies charged their fees, whether we made or lost money.

As the contest took off we enjoyed engaging conversations with our new friends at the bank, who educated us about investing, and their perks included free access to experts. When we had our wills and trust created, for example, the bank’s attorney vetted the documents.

At the robo-adviser, on the other hand, there seemed to be no one who could answer a question. After our trust was created, it took days for us to get an email reply that said there was no way to move our account into the trust.

In about a year it was time for our beauty contest to hit the runway. The folks at the bank pulled out spreadsheets showing us how they outperformed various indexes, none of which we recognized �” and all well below the returns of the Dow or S&P.

The results should not have surprised us. More than 80 percent of actively managed funds fail to perform as well as the market, according to a recent analysis, and it was going to be unlikely that a wealth manager would do better.

The algorithm outperformed the bank by about 50 percent, despite its maddening dearth of customer service.

With the robot’s superior bottom line it would appear the results of our contest were cut and dry, but we were torn. We had a rapport with the bank, we trusted them, and they seemed to understand our needs.

That trust and personal touch was more important than just returns, and we were not alone feeling this way. Research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab shows that when working with their financial advisers, investors value personalization over expertise.

Audrey Grubman, president of Grubman Wealth Management of Berkeley, Calif., said assessing a client’s needs is complex. Simple questions about risk often fail to provide genuine insight, since in a boom market people will almost always claim to want risk.

To build her client’s portfolios she uses more open-ended questions like, “What do you want to do in your life?” Ms. Grubman said. “People want to feel like they can talk to someone, and trust someone.”

The bank that offered us those VIP theater tickets wasn’t being frivolous, it was trying to make a personal connection to help establish trust.

When tax time came, however, a new picture emerged. Our accountant showed us how the profits from the robo-adviser had lower tax consequences. The bank’s smaller returns, conversely, were mostly in so-called nonconforming investments, many of them the bank’s own products, and taxes were nearly double, leaving us with a vastly poorer performance than we first realized.

We met with our friends at the bank and asked about that, and the collegial mood abruptly changed.

“What exactly do you think ‘nonconforming’ means?” the portfolio manager asked, as if we could not possibly understand such things.

In that instant all those months of gaining our trust evaporated. Getting personal, it turns out, was a two-way street. The algorithm never schmoozed, but it also never insulted. We fired the bank, moved that money to the robo-adviser, and have been satisfied since.

A personal connection, however, can still win, even with us, depending on the circumstances. Last year for an overseas investment we did a second beauty contest for exchanging money. With a test exchange, two competing companies came up with the exact same performance, to the penny.

But one company assigned us a currency trader in London. He didn’t treat me like a rube as I asked novice questions, and I felt free to call him as the United States election and Brexit rattled the exchanges, pushing the dollar to highs not seen in years.

“This is the day, isn’t it?” I asked. Yes, he said. He got our business, and the timing saved thousands of dollars.

No algorithm could have coached me like that.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Overland Park KS

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is discovering the right tools to execute your basic needs. We do this making use of the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a personalized plan at the least expensive possible expense.

Chance of Rain

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03/28

30%

Chance of Rain
Showers ending early. Lows overnight in the low 40s.

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Thursday

03/29

10%

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Cloudy. High 53F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.

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Mainly sunny. High 59F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.

Partly Cloudy

Saturday

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Partly Cloudy
Mostly cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. High 56F. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph.

Snow Showers

Sunday

04/01

70%

Snow Showers
Cloudy skies with afternoon snow showers. High 33F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70%. Snow accumulations less than one inch.

The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law practice. We concentrate on estate planning so that you can be guaranteed that you are getting the most approximately date strategies. We train extensively so that we can supply the exact right match for your wants and desires. We don’t require everyone into a single mold. Instead, we attempt and make sure that everyone is treated with the most personalized solution that best meets their needs.



The Eastman Law Firm(913) 908-9113

7450 W 130th St Ste. 145
Overland Park
KS
66213

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

See our directory page here and here and our lawyers.com profile here.

Estate Planning – Leaving a Messy Estate

Organizing the Estate

Below is a really nice article on typical estate planning mistakes.  This article focuses on the “messy estate” problem. What happens is that the heirs will make one of a couple of mistakes.  First, they will miss things.  For example, there are a lot of extras in many estates, like life insurance, old pension plans, old 401(k) plans as well as reward points.  These things can be missed if the paperwork is not in order.  The second thing that happens when you have a messy estate is that the heirs will just hire someone to deal with it – which leads to a substantial reduction in value for the heirs.

See more about Overland Park Estate Planning by visiting our site. See more below on the issues with estate planning.  https://theeastmanlawfirm.com/

Overland Park estate planning attorneys

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcarlson/2018/03/13/7-big-estate-planning-mistakes-leaving-a-messy-estate/#59ddf2622e61

Estate Planning Mistakes: Leaving A Messy Estate

Perhaps the last and best test of how much you care about your survivors and legacy is the level of organization of your estate.

There are two parts of your estate to consider. The first part is your physical estate. For most people it is the home and personal possessions.

I’ve talked to many people who’ve dealt with the physical estates of their parents, and most have stories about how much stuff they had to sort through and dispose of. Many people accumulate stuff over their lifetimes and rarely streamline it. Their possessions compound over the decades. Most of them decide, deliberately or by default, to let their children deal with the accumulation. Unfortunately, the children will be doing this while also grieving.

The survivors will feel obligated to sort through all the stuff, because we’ve all heard stories of people hiding cash or valuable items. One family told me they found a $20 bill in every coat, jacket, and sweater in their parents’ house. It added to a nice amount, but they also had to sort through each item of clothing and always wondered how much they missed.

It’s not unusual for the surviving children to spend days, weeks, and even longer dealing with the stuff. One family told me they decided the task was so large they agreed to set aside one weekend a month for a year to meet at their parents’ house and clean it up.

Don’t save stuff because you think the children or grandchildren might want it someday. They won’t. Even family heirlooms don’t stir much interest these days. Don’t think you’re saving it for charity. Most charities now are very selective about the donations they’ll take. It’s the same way with second-hand stores. They won’t take a lot of items, because they can’t sell them.

Margareta Magnusson introduced the world to The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning. In her book, Magnusson says part of Swedish culture is for people over age 50 or so to begin streamlining their possessions. It’s done partly as a courtesy to survivors and partly to make your life easier and simpler.

The streamlining process can take a long time. You shouldn’t delay, because it will become harder the older you are. If you haven’t de-cluttered your life for decades, expect this to be a long-term process, not an event. Set aside a day or weekend per month to work on one small part of your house at a time.

I think you’ll feel better throughout the process, and your heirs will be appreciative.

The second part of the estate is your legal and financial estate. It’s also a good idea to organize and streamline your financial assets.

Many people opened accounts at different financial firms over the years and have 401(k) accounts or other retirement plans at different employers. It’s a good idea to consolidate accounts and assets. Consider selling smaller investments and real estate holdings to streamline the estate. You’ll find it easier to manage your assets, and your executor will settle your estate more quickly and at lower cost.

If you don’t organize and streamline, assets are likely to be lost or misplaced. If your executor and heirs don’t know what you own, they won’t look for the paperwork. Even if your heirs locate and claim all your assets, they might have to spend a lot of resources in the effort if you haven’t streamlined and cleaned up the estate.

Most financial services firms have accounts whose owners they haven’t heard from for years. Often, these accounts are transferred to the state, a process known as escheat. It’s easier for you than your heirs to prove ownership, so you should check to see if any of your assets have been escheated to any of the states you lived in.

In addition to streamlining your accounts and investments, have your paperwork organized and easy to find. Leave your executor and heirs a roadmap to your estate. This would include a list of all your assets and liabilities. You should include details for each account, such as the firm that has custody of the account, account number, any online access codes, contact persons, and other information that would be helpful to the executor. One way to organization this information is by using my workbook, To My Heirs: A Book of Final Wishes and Instructions.

The organization of your possessions and estate is one factor survivors will remember. Decide if you want to leave a messy burden or a more pleasant legacy.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Overland Park KS

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 utilizing the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a personalized strategy at the least expensive possible expense.

Fire Weather Warning

Issued:
9:04 AM CDT on March 15, 2018
Expires:
7:00 PM CDT on March 15, 2018
Rain

Thursday

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80%

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Windy with rain late. Lows overnight in the upper 40s.

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Mostly cloudy and windy. Periods of rain early. Thunder possible. High 64F. Winds ESE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

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Mostly Cloudy
Mostly cloudy. High around 50F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph.

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Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 61F. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 mph.

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03/19

100%

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Rain early…then remaining cloudy with showers in the afternoon. High around 50F. Winds NE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a half an inch.

The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law firm. We focus on estate planning so that you can be ensured that you are getting the most approximately date techniques. We train extensively so that we can supply the precise right match for your wants and desires. We do not force everyone into a single mold. Instead, we try and make sure that everybody is treated with the most customized solution that best satisfies their requirements.



The Eastman Law Firm(913) 908-9113

7450 W 130th St Ste. 145
Overland Park
KS
66213

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

See our directory page here and here and our lawyers.com profile here.

Estate Planning – Millennial Planning

Estates for Millennials – Plan It

Below is a really good article on thinking about how to think about estate planning for the millennial generation.  That generation, like the other generations, have their own set of issues that need to be planned around. Some of these things include the digitization of the world, as well as the burden of debt that has been borne by that generation.

See more below on the issues with estate planning.  https://theeastmanlawfirm.com/estate-planning/

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Overland Park estate planning attorneys

http://www.blackenterprise.com/estate-planning-for-millennials/

Estate planning for millennials sounds counterintuitive. However, before you jump to that conclusion, consider this: No matter how much money you make in your lifetime, it’s not real wealth if you don’t effectively transfer it to future generations. To put it bluntly, if it’s not multigenerational wealth, it’s not wealth at all.

Unfortunately, estate planning remains the most neglected aspect of personal finance and wealth building, even among successful entrepreneurs and high-income professionals�”an increasing number of whom happen to be millennials. This is in part because most people believe that they are neither old enough nor rich enough to make estate planning a priority. Ironically, millennials, who despite conventional wisdom are managing their money just as effectively as Generation X and baby boomers, may have the most to lose by buying into this misassumption.

“Estate planning is somewhat of a misnomer because it does imply that it’s only for the wealthy,” says family law and estate planning attorney Lori Anne Douglass, a founding partner of the New York law firm Douglass, Rademacher & Brown L.L.P. “But quite frankly, anybody who’s going to die, which is everybody, needs to put their affairs in order.”

“If you literally have nothing, and you have no children, then you have nothing to plan for,” she adds. “But if you have family members, and you have any assets at all�”tangible personal property, you own a home, you have a retirement plan, you have money in the bank, life insurance�”any assets at all, if you don’t have an established plan, it’s going to be a disaster.”

“Whether your estate is worth $100,000 or $100 million,” Douglass asserts, “the planning is critical, not just for wealth building, but to maintain family harmony, to administer the estate effectively and efficiently to save on costs and attorney’s fees.”

Douglass offers these five reasons why estate planning for millennials not only makes sense but needs to be a top priority.

NO ESTATE PLANNING FOR MILLENNIALS EQUALS NO BLACK WEALTH
Each year, millions (perhaps even billions) of dollars are lost due to poor estate planning, as assets are inefficiently transferred from one generation to the next, if they are passed on at all. This is one outcome that African Americans can ill afford, with at least one study predicting that black households are on a path to zero wealth by the year 2053. Without estate planning for millennials, however, this prediction is all but guaranteed to become reality.

“People seem to think that when someone dies that their assets just automatically go to the next generation,” says Douglass. “They don’t. It’s a complex process, and without process planning and input from the individual who owned those assets, it can be messy, time-consuming and costly, it doesn’t matter how much money you have.”

YOUR OBLIGATIONS DON’T GO AWAY WHEN YOU DO
Douglass offers this reality check: “The Internal Revenue Service, your state taxing authority, your debt collectors and your creditors are not going to just let your debt go because a person passes. If there are assets here to pay the debt, they have to be paid.”

“The first people to get paid are the taxing authorities,” she explains. “When someone dies, whether it’s the next of kin or the executor under a will, that person has an obligation to pay the final income tax returns of the decedent. If you own real property, real estate taxes are going to come due at most six months from the time anybody dies. That has to be paid. If you have an income tax due from prior tax years, that has to be paid. Also, there are states that have state inheritance tax and state estate tax.”

Keep in mind: Taxing authorities will take what is due them from your loved ones even if they haven’t received a penny from your estate yet, especially if they’re locked in battle contesting a non-existent or poorly executed estate plan.

ESTATE PLANNING IS NOT A DIY PROJECT
Though it’s easy to download documents to do your own will, it’s not wise, and could result in financial disaster. Sure, you could get it done quickly and inexpensively today, but your loved ones will likely pay a high price later for you taking the do-it-yourself option.

“If you try to do too much estate planning on your own and you make a mistake it can really cost a lot of problems for your loved ones” Douglass explains. “I would never advise anyone to do their own will or to do their own trust because it’s so complex. There are different kinds of trusts, there are tax ramifications, there are gifting issues, there are issues related to whether you want to give property to your children outright or hold that in trust.”

THE IMPORTANT EXCEPTION TO THE NO-DIY RULE
There is an aspect of estate planning for millennials that is an exception to the previous point. One thing that Douglass says millennials and everyone can and should immediately do on their own is to execute medical and financial directives, in case you become disabled.

“Now that people are living for so many years�”people are regularly living into their 80s and 90s�”a large percentage of us will become disabled, if not permanently, then for some period of time during an adult life,” says Douglass. “Therefore, you really need to have a power of attorney and medical directives such as a healthcare proxy and a living will, that people can help you make those decisions. And those documents are statutory, which means every state has in its own statute for how the language for those documents should be written, and you can get those documents right off most states’ websites.”

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS?
“Younger people need to do estate planning just as much as anybody over 50,” says Douglass. “Younger people should think about their beneficiary designations for their 401(k) or insurance, and other basic assets when they start to acquire them.”

But there is another reason estate planning for millennials needs to be a priority: wealth is no longer just physical and financial (money and real estate); it is also intellectual and digital, including the emergence of cryptocurrencies.

“Especially, you need to be thinking about your digital assets,” she emphasizes. “That’s the new thing in estate planning. When somebody passes, who can access your Facebook account? Who can access your PayPal account and deactivate that? All those are the kinds of things you would put in a will or a revocable trust, designating someone to handle your digital assets for you. This is especially important for the young people thinking about their digital assets and intellectual property, [such as a revenue-generating blog].”

“It’s sad,” she continues. “I had a client, a young person in his 30s who died unexpectedly. And one thing that is very difficult is that his social media still continues. On his birthday, a LinkedIn message goes out inviting people to send him a birthday wish, and it’s very distressful to the family. But he passed at a time when he didn’t do any planning and before people were really thinking about what happens to digital assets and intellectual property when someone passes.”

Estate Planning Lawyers in Overland Park KS

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is discovering the right tools to execute your fundamental needs. We do this utilizing the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a personalized strategy at the most affordable possible expense.
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The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law firm. We focus on estate planning so that you can be guaranteed that you are getting the most up to date strategies.


The Eastman Law Firm
Estate planning attorneys, focusing on Wills, Trusts and Probate law.
KANSAS (KS)
66224
United States

Phone: (913) 908-9113

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

See our directory page here and here and our lawyers.com profile here.

Estate Planning – Business Succession Planning

Family Business in Succession Planning

Below is a really good article on thinking about the structure of your family business when determining your estate plan. There are some things that are incredibly important in that setup, such as the successor in planning as well as the cash flow setup. Sometimes people want to be equal, which may create inequities in fairness. The structure of the family business is crucial to its long term survival.

See more below on the issues with estate planning.

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Overland Park estate planning attorneys

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Structure of family business can help your estate plan

At some point, every family business owner considers what will happen when they are no longer able to run the business. Will they be able to retire �” when they are ready �” and successfully pass on the business?

To minimize the chance of failure, family business owners must be willing to explore all their options. This cannot be done passively. Owners who commit to this step will open up many possibilities.

Next, family business owners must identify the result they want. Most parents want to be fair to their kids. Contrary to popular belief, “fair” does not necessarily mean “equal.” Perhaps more on this later.

In our last column, we gave the example of a “land rich but cash poor” ranch where one child wants to continue the ranch but the other children have no interest. The situation could just as easily have been that all the kids want to continue the ranch, or some number in between.

Once we know the parents’ desired result, we look to see if the business (i.e. ranch) is operated as a business entity such as a corporation, a limited liability company, or partnership. The answer to this question will help us to identify options.

For example, if the ranch operates as a limited liability company, there is a way in which one child can be given the control to run the ranch but all of the children can share in the profits.

This is just one of many ways in which we can use the operation of a family business to accomplish family estate planning goals. When used in conjunction with a will or trust, remarkable estate planning solutions are available.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Overland Park KS

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is discovering the right devices to execute your basic needs. We do this using the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a customized plan at the least expensive possible expense.
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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 as much as date methods. We train thoroughly so that we can provide the exact right match for your wants and desires. We do not force everyone into a single mold. Instead, we try and make sure that everybody is treated with the most personalized solution that best meets their requirements.


The Eastman Law Firm
Estate planning attorneys, focusing on Wills, Trusts and Probate law.
KANSAS (KS)
66224
United States

Phone: (913) 908-9113

Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm

See our directory page here and here and our lawyers.com profile here.

How to Avoid Probate

Probate and How to Avoid It

When your time on this planet finally comes to an end, your family and closest friends will already be suffering from immense grief due to your loss. For this reason, probably the last thing you want to do is to cause them more stress and trouble, which is likely what will happen if you don’t make final arrangements ahead of time. According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 55% of Americans don’t have a will, which means their loved ones will be stuck trying to pick up the pieces after they pass.

Unfortunately, even with a properly drafted will, it’s most likely that your estate will still have to go through probate court proceedings in order to transfer your assets to your designated heirs. The problem is that probate can be a time-consuming, expensive, and often confusing process. Luckily, you have options to ensure your loved ones don’t have to go through the probate process.

Avoiding Probate with a Living Trust

Although it is quite similar to a will in many ways, a living trust is an effective method of ensuring that your assets don’t have to go through probate court to be transferred. With a living trust, you designate one or more trustees to oversee your assets within the trust.

  • When you create a trust, you are essentially transferring ownership of all trust property from yourself to the trustees.
  • For this reason, it is always a good idea to name yourself as one of the trustees to ensure that you still retain control over your property until your death.
  • When your time finally does come, the remaining trustee(s) will gain full legal control and ownership of the trust.
  • The trustee is then authorized to transfer the assets as you’ve specified.

Create Beneficiaries

Another simple way to avoid having some of your assets go through probate is to designate someone as a beneficiary upon your death.

  • While most people commonly name beneficiaries for things like retirement accounts and life insurance policies, many states also give you the option to name beneficiaries for your bank accounts and other investment accounts.
  • These ‘payable-on-death’ or ‘transfer-on-death’ accounts ensure that your beneficiary will immediately become the holder of such of an account when you die without having to first go through probate.
  • Some states also allow you to do the same thing with real estate property through the use of a so-called life estate deed. With this type of deed, you can designate a beneficiary to whom the property will immediately be transferred in the event of your death.

Joint Property Ownership

Another way you can avoid probate on real estate, vehicles, and other types of property is to choose joint ownership. There are several different types of joint ownership options available depending on where you live and who you wish to designated as a co-owner of your property. However, they all basically work in the same way.

  • As you will co-own the property with another person, the property will automatically pass to the co-owner in the event of your death.
  • Similarly, you will become the sole owner should your co-owner pass away.

Giving Property Away Before Your Time Comes

If you have already  decided who will receive your property after you pass away, you may want to consider giving it to them as a gift before you pass. Divesting assets beforehand will lower the overall costs of the probate proceedings, since these tend to be higher for larger estates. This will save costs for your beneficiaries and it’s possible that the recipient might be able to avoid paying federal tax on what they inherit. However, check with a probate or estate lawyer Sacrament relies on to be sure how your estate might be taxed.

As you can see, you actually have quite a few options that can allow you to prevent your estate from going through probate. Although it may require some effort on your part, an estate planning attorney or probate lawyer can do the heavy lifting for you, including filing the necessary paperwork.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and probate practice.

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Estate Planning is More than Just Taxes

Gratitude and Estate Planning

Below is a really good article on estate planning and how it is more than just a tax review.  As they say, not only the wealthy need estate planning.  It goes through some of the nuts and bolts of the estate planning process and, most importantly, talks about gratitude at the end.

See more below on the issues with estate planning.

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Estate Planning ퟀ�” It’s Not Just Taxes

By Ray and Dana Brandon

Ray’s Take: Many people think estate planning is only for the super wealthy, but that’s not the case. Do you have a home? Children or grandchildren? Elderly parents? Bank accounts or other assets? If you have any of these, you need an estate plan. And it’s about more than just taxes.

An estate plan helps protect your family when ퟀ�” not if ퟀ�” you pass away. There are a number of things to include in estate planning.

A big item is a last will and testament. According to a Gallup poll, only 44 percent of Americans had a last will and testament in 2016. This is the document that tells everyone your final wishes and yet over half of Americans have not made a will. That leaves a lot up to chance, court fees and possible legal battles.

You can name beneficiaries on tax-deferred accounts, and those will pass directly to the specified individual outside of the will. Things like life insurance and retirement accounts fall into this category as well. But you can’t name minors. Further, a pile of cash with no strings attached falling into the hands of a college student may not be in their best interest. Without a named beneficiary on these accounts, they will pass into probate, and if you don’t have a will, your state will write one for you, and you might not like it.

It’s important to review your estate planning documents regularly to make sure you’ve designated people where needed and want to keep the same beneficiaries. For example, if your executor, trustee or guardian has moved across the country, you’re likely better off naming someone local. You’ll also want to review your estate plan every time there’s a major life event, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, the death of a parent or a divorce.

These are only a few of the items in a good estate plan. An attorney or financial expert can help you set up your estate plan so that your assets go where you want rather than where a judge designates.

Dana’s Take: Estate planning is planning what to leave behind and to whom. But what about the impressions and memories you will leave with family and friends?

I read about a retired CEO who made a mission to thank all of the people in his life who helped him along the way. First, he wrote to each person and asked to meet face-to-face. Then he flew or drove to meet each one. Imagine the joy he spread by expressing his gratitude.

Ray’s father, Denby Brandon Jr., also made a lifelong habit of expressing appreciation to clients, friends and loved ones.

It’s never too late to create a legacy of gratitude.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is finding the right tools to implement your fundamental requirements. We do this using the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a customized strategy at the least expensive possible cost.
http://ift.tt/2sJqbPF
The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law practice. We concentrate on estate planning so that you can be ensured 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

See our directory page here and here and our lawyers.com profile here.

Some Complications on Estate Planning without Heirs

Estate planning without spouse or children can get complicated

When a person dies, his or her possessions usually pass to the spouse or children. However, when someone with no immediate family dies, the process can become complicated.

Stephen Rudolph, president of HW Financial Advisors in Cleveland; Barbara Bellin Janovitz, estate planning chair at Reminger Attorneys at Law in Cleveland; and Linda Delacourt Summers, member of the estate planning council at Ulmer & Berne in Cleveland, all said many things must be considered when planning an estate.

“In this case, I see people without a spouse or child name charities (in their will),” Rudolph said. “They want money to go to the causes they deeply care about. That can be done either through state documents at death or depending on their wealth, they can set up a fund.”

Rudolph said it’s important to consider life planning and estate planning hand-in-hand.

“Life planning is also involved, depending on ages and where they are at in life,” he said. “If you don’t have an estate plan because you figure you don’t need one because you don’t have dependents or spouses, it could end up going to their parents. And sometimes, they could be the last people that would need the money.”

A significant other could be listed as a beneficiary, but Rudolph said that could be risky – especially when there is no legal commitment to them.

“Depending on the relationship, you could break up and forget to change the will,” he said. “And suddenly, they are getting everything out of the estate.”

Janovitz said estate planning could prove to be more important for those who don’t have children.

“If you don’t have an estate plan, the estate will come up with one for you,” she said. “And that’s usually not what you want. Your items would go to your next of kin and family members. You don’t want the court or state to do that work for you.”

Janovitz said a person should control what happens to the property.

“The key is that you want to make all of the same decisions, whether or not you’re married,” she said. “You don’t want to leave (your estate) up to chance. You’re the maker of your own destiny.”

Janovitz said a list of potential inheritors could be large and less obvious and when one is married, children probably would be the beneficiaries.

“If you’re single, and have no children, the world is your oyster in terms of who you want to designate to,” she said. “You could leave property to a close friends or even to charity. But those decisions tend to be more difficult when you don’t have someone ‘cut and dry’ to leave it to.”

Summers said when someone has no immediate family, it “opens up a different dynamic in estate planning because they are not confined by the social norm of leaving assets to a spouse or child.”

Summers said this is when charities are heavily considered in the estate planning process, along with other family members that aren’t necessarily immediate. “The single individual has to think of the broader spectrum of people in their lives that may be better equipped to fill important roles,” she said. “You need to leave behind a road map so those people have an understanding of what it is you want.”

Summer said the right questions must be asked when estate planning.

“You have to think about who would be best equipped to serve in those important roles,” she said. “They have to think about different plans because no one ever knows what the future holds for us. It’s an open-ended question in a way.

“It’s a gift to do estate planning, because it takes the weight off their shoulders and provides answers to questions they may ask, before they ask them.”

Father’s Day Estate Planning

Some Father’s Day estate planning advice for you

So, it’s father’s day.  The day we get to celebrate our fathers.  I recently lost my father and sat down to talk to my family members about estate planning – not the most exciting subject for father’s day, but all the more relevant now that my own father is gone.

See more below on the issues with estate planning.

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Father’s Day: Estate Planning

June 16, 2017 10:32 AM By Dee Lee

BOSTON (CBS) �” According to a recent Rocket Lawyer survey, a surprising 32% of Americans would rather do their taxes, get a root canal, or give up sex for a month than create or update their will. And even more Americans find it difficult to have conversations about their estate planning.

So talking to your elderly dad about estate planning could be a disaster. Dad may think you are after his money or he may be embarrassed to let you know how little he has.

But you could be one of the lucky ones and dad has already done everything needed and will tell you where the papers are. Mention to him that you heard this financial planner on the radio and you realize you need to get your affairs in order.

Ask what has he done to get his affairs in order? If he says “nothing”, offer to help referring to the documents I have listed. If he says “yes”, ask where are the documents?

Estate planning does not need to be complicated. A will allows you to give your assets, the stuff you own, to your heirs. If there is a complicated situation such as second or third marriage with kids from each marriage or lots of money involved then you need to do some fancy estate planning.

A living trust you use while you are alive and upon your death your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries by your trustee and bypasses the probate process. This makes it very easy on the heirs and avoids probate.

Naming someone as the beneficiary of your IRA, retirement plan, insurance policy or annuity also supersedes the will and bypasses the probate process.

A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document used while one is still alive. It allows you to choose someone to act as your attorney-in-fact to make decisions legally or financially if you are not able to do so.

A Medical Directive, allows you to tell the medical community how you want to be treated if you cannot make medical decisions for yourself. In Massachusetts it is a Health Care Proxy, which allows you to choose someone to make those decisions for you.

One more thing: When choosing someone to act as your power of attorney or health care proxy choose one person with a second as an alternate. If you have two children do not put both their names on the document. If they fought about the jellybeans in their Easter basket they will fight about your health care.

And do speak with the person you would like to be your proxy before putting their name on the document.

Also, a new book: Check List for my Family: a Guide to my History, Financial Plans and Final Wishes. Helps you put your life in order by gathering in one place your online accounts. Finances, legal documents, wishes about medical care and more. It tells you what you need and why and what’s missing and where to get it.  Available at AARP, bookstores or amazon

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 needs. We do this using the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a personalized plan at the lowest possible expense.
http://ift.tt/2rNYpPW
The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law practice. We concentrate on estate planning so that you can be guaranteed that you are getting the most approximately date techniques. We train extensively so that we can supply the specific right match for your wants and desires. We do not force everyone into a single mold. Instead, we attempt and make certain that everyone is treated with the most customized solution that best fulfills their needs.

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

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See our directory page here and here.