3 Life-Changing Events That Should Prompt the Creation or Revision of a Will

Three Life-Changing Events That Should Prompt You to Revise, or Create, a Will

While a creating a will might be stressful or upsetting to some, having a will in place can help ensure that your loved ones are secure. A will makes sure that your final wishes are be clearly planned out and that your intended recipients will receive the assets you’ve determined.

Even if you think it might be too early to be thinking about managing end of life dealings, there are several major events that can happen in almost any season of life that may call for writing (or updating) a will. A will can be updated whenever necessary so there is no reason to put it off. In addition, a Peoria IL probate attorney or estate planning attorney can make the process of writing a will very straightforward and legally sound.

Purchasing a Major Asset

If you recently invested in a valuable asset, you may want to consider having your will include who is going to inherit that asset. Major purchases can include vehicles, expensive pieces of artwork, jewelry, or a real estate property.

Having a Child

A will can also ensure that your property is passed along to your children or heirs. While minors cannot legally own property, it’s possible to establish a trust fund where your assets may remain until your child is legally capable of managing them. An estate planning attorney can help you establish a trust fund and explain possible tax saving options that you can take advantage of as well.

Wedding - get your estate plan updated

Marriage

A marriage changes many aspects of one’s life, and it may affect who you want included in your will, especially if you’ve been married before. Some states actually require you to rewrite your will after getting married again — or else your first spouse might inherit your estate as if you had no will at all. The exceptions to that law are if you did one of the following:

  1. You had a premarital agreement specifying a different arrangement with regard to what and how much they will inherit.
  2. You provided for the spouse (by name) in the will and specified how much of what assets they will inherit.
  3. You stated specifically in the will that your spouse will not inherit your estate.

Contact an Attorney

Creating or updating a will does not have to be overwhelming. It’s simply planning for the security and well-being of your loved ones, especially if you’re going through some exciting and life altering event. Contact a lawyer today,

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Smith & Weer, P.C. for their insight into estate planning.

Estate Planning Lawyers

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

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Advertisements

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.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

http://ift.tt/2lHlipn

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.

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.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

http://ift.tt/2kCvRZk

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.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

http://ift.tt/2k4ps5z

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.

Getting to Know your Estate Planning Documents

Estate Planning Documents

The baby boomer generation has concerns that are different from Generation X and definitely different concerns than millenials.  Given the sheer size of this generation, it is not surprising that they have additional concerns that would affect their entire generation in a way that other generations just cannot see.  See the estate planning tips below.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

http://ift.tt/24EW2Ny

Basic estate planning begins with completing documents that allow your last wishes to be carried out as you choose. But are you familiar with the documents you’ll need?

Here’s a list of common estate planning documents and their purpose:

Advance directive. Your instructions for end-of-life and quality-of-life wishes regarding medical treatments. Share your directive with your healthcare providers and family.

Asset inventory. A list of all your financial assets that shows how much you paid for the asset (your basis), and how the asset is titled, such as joint tenancy or payable on death.

Beneficiary designations. Forms you complete to specify who will receive the proceeds of accounts and assets that aren’t distributed via your will, such as life insurance policies, IRAs and 401(k)s. Be sure to appoint contingent beneficiaries as well, in case your first choice predeceases you.

Power of attorney. Gives the person of your choice the ability to act on your behalf if you become incompetent or incapable.

Power of attorney for health care. Gives the person of your choice the authority to make health care decisions for you that are not specified in your advance directive.

Record of locations. A list of the location of legal and financial documents and assets, including safety deposit boxes and keys, mortgage deeds and titles to property, bank and retirement accounts, and your will.

Trust agreement. Trusts are legal arrangements that can be used to carry out your wishes to distribute income, provide for your long-term care, transfer your assets, and make sure a favorite charity receives donations.

Will. Also called a last will and testament. Explains how you want to transfer your property.

Estate planning is about much more than taxes. It’s also about peace of mind, for both you and your family. Your accountant will be happy to work with your financial team to make sure your plan accomplishes what you intend.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is finding the right devices to implement your standard needs. We do this utilizing the most up to date tools so that we can prepare a personalized plan at the lowest possible expense.
http://ift.tt/2d9nYYx
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.

Top Lessons for Baby Boomers in Estate Planning

Estate Planning for Boomers

The baby boomer generation has concerns that are different from Generation X and definitely different concerns than millenials.  Given the sheer size of this generation, it is not surprising that they have additional concerns that would affect their entire generation in a way that other generations just cannot see.  See the estate planning tips below.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

http://ift.tt/24EW2Ny

The Most Important Estate Planning Issue Boomers Need To Address

If you’re like me, with parents who are retired but still very self-sufficient, concerns about elder financial abuse or my Boomer parents’ inability to handle their own affairs is seemingly something that THEIR generation needs to worry about, not me. But as I reflect this Mother’s Day on how fortunate I am to still have both parents living (and quite robustly) into their mid-60’s, I realize that this issue is no longer something for Other People. I need to have these conversations with my mom and dad right now while they are still operating at their best. While I dread the day that things change, acting like it won’t happen won’t make it any easier when one or both of them do need additional help.

Living Well and Living Longer

By the year 2050, it is estimated that 1 out of every 5 Americans will be over the age of 65, with people aged 85+ the fastest growing demographic in the nation. The good news is that people are living longer, even with chronic diseases that used to lead to early death. (92% of seniors are living with at least one chronic disease; 77% with two or more.)

The challenge is that this requires different planning than the traditional practice of simply having a power of attorney in place to help in case of incapacity and making sure the will is up-to-date to include the intended heirs. As this demographic continues to grow, so will instances of fraud and financial abuse of seniors. As approximately 3.5 million Baby Boomers enter retirement each year, the time to make sure your estate planning documents protect you or your parents from fraud and abuse is now. In fact, experts recommend making the bulk of these major financial decisions by age 50.

Beyond the Basics

The big issue here is that when most estate plans are created, particularly with married couples, both spouses are of very sound mind and the natural inclination is simply to name each other as agents in case of incapacity. This is fine, but it’s important to make sure that there are contingent situations addressed as well. For example, what happens if they divorce? Between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate doubled for people over the age of 50 and more than doubled for those over 65. Or alternatively, consider a case where neither spouse is incapacitated in terms of being unable to function in daily life, but both need assistance with things like paying bills due to declining writing abilities from Parkinson’s or arthritis.

Having a trusted person named in legal documents to help with those things ahead of time is the best way to make sure that finances are protected without having to give up complete control. So how do you make sure that you, your parents or other aging loved ones have the right plans in place BEFORE they’re needed? Here are some tips and things to consider.

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 execute your standard needs. We do this utilizing the most up to date tools so that we can prepare a customized strategy at the most affordable possible cost.
http://ift.tt/1UKI4qD
The Eastman Law Firm is an estate planning law firm. We concentrate on estate planning so that you can be guaranteed that you are getting the most as much as date techniques. We train extensively so that we can provide the specific right match for your wants and desires. We do not require everybody into a single mold. Instead, we attempt and make sure that everybody is treated with the most personalized 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

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.

Probate Lessons from Prince

Probate Lessons that Prince taught us

The death of Prince has saddened all of us that grew up in the 80’s listening to his music.  Unfortunately, I am further saddened now that he has passed without a will.  Thus, a lot of his estate will now go to projects other than what he probably wanted.  The biggest losers are the charities that he supported so generously during his life.  It’s a shame, really.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

http://ift.tt/23mdG6n

Like most Americans, I was shocked and saddened by the death of Prince. I liked Prince in middle school and high school, but in college his music became the soundtrack to my life. Unfortunately for all of us, collectively mourning musicians has become all too commonplace in the last year. And at first, I was simply one of those fans who couldn’t imagine a world without Prince in it.

Initial reports made note of Prince’s conflict with and criticism of the music industry and his role as a champion of artistic freedom. Notably, when fans went to Spotify to celebrate Prince’s life by listening to his music, they were unable to find it. That is because in recent years, Prince gained control of his music rights, which allowed him to remove his work from digital streaming services. This was a man who understood the value of control!

As the stories developed in the wake of Prince’s death, I was so happy to hear that, in addition to being a musical genius, Prince was a philanthropist. According to reports, he supported civil rights causes, education and even made anonymous gifts to strangers who were in need. The fact that he did not boast about his good deeds, made me like him even more.

But then the story took the worst possible turn for this estate planning attorney. The news came out last week ” Prince had no will! In response to a petition filed by Prince’s sister, a Carver County judge appointed Bremer Trust as a special administrator for Prince’s estate. This was an emergency response so that there is someone legally responsible to manage Prince’s assets and business.

How could a man who fought so hard to re-gain control over his musical legacy not have created a plan for it after he died? How could a man with a philanthropic heart not have cemented his charitable legacy with testamentary gifts? Et tu, Prince?

Still in disbelief that Prince was without an estate plan, I started dreaming up other hypotheticals that would make sense for the man who was so mysterious to all. How amazing would it be if he had established a foundation that was not directly connected to himself to continue his legacy as he did when he was alive, anonymously? Or what if his funds were funneled through a corporation, which left nothing in his individual name? A testament that the artist was true to his creative genius and cared less about the fortune it provided him.

Believe me, I understand that estate planning requires us to acknowledge our mortality and that can be difficult, if not impossible, for some. I understand that we are all busy and estate planning often falls to the bottom of the to-do list. But I can’t help thinking that when Prince failed to write his wishes down, he irrevocably lost the ability to make a game-changing difference in organizations that he held so dear during his lifetime. And this would have made him immortal.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is finding the right devices to execute your standard requirements. We do this making use of the most up to date devices so that we can prepare a customized plan at the least expensive possible cost.
http://ift.tt/1SNCdzw
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 techniques. We train extensively so that we can offer the precise right match for your desires and desires. We do not require everyone into a single mold. Instead, we attempt and make sure that everybody is treated with the most personalized solution 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

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.

Five Benefits of Establishing a Revocable Trust

Revocable Living Trust

Below is a great article on some benefits to establishing a revocable trust.  This article has a slightly different take on it than our typical point of view as it is written by an immigration attorney.  Our current society really has some different things that we must take into consideration, and your estate plan needs to reflect that.  It used to be simple – just pass your real estate and some personal effects and you are done.  Take a look and then feel free to call us with your thoughts, comments, etc.

The Eastman Law Firm.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

http://ift.tt/1rtdbf2

Five benefits of establishing a revocable living trust

THERE is never the perfect time to think about who you would like to inherit from your estate in case you pass away or at least who among your closest friends (BFFs) and family members are even deserving of inheriting from your estate. In doing so, you should also think about which vehicle you plan to use in implementing your estate plan. One of the best vehicle in implementing your estate plan is a revocable living trust. Five major benefits of establishing a revocable living trust are:

Your estate can avoid the time, cost, and hassle of going through the probate court process.

If you pass away without a will (intestate) in California, one of your close family would have to file a petition in probate court to probate your estate. Your estate will be divided and distributed according to the California probate code rules of intestate succession. Even if you have a will when you pass away, your family would still need to file a petition in probate court if your estate is worth over $150,000 and go through the probate process. This can become a circus if certain beneficiaries contest the validity of the Will or the distribution of the estate. Your estate will pay for attorney’s fees, probate referee fees, appraisers and other experts, CPA fees, etc. If people contest the case, your estate would end up paying legal fees to defend the estate in litigation. The entire process can take anywhere from 9 months to years depending on the contentiousness of the probate case.

With a revocable living trust, your trustee or successor trustee if you were the initial trustee, would administer the trust and distribute the estate according to the trust document without having to open a probate court case. If the trust is funded with all your assets, it is possible to administer and distribute the trust assets without any Court involvement at all. This process is a lot faster than going through probate.

Your estate is not public record

When you file a probate case, the public has access to your probate case file. The public will know the assets of the estate including the values of those assets. If the Will is admitted into probate, the terms of the Will is open to public scrutiny.

Establishing a revocable living trust makes your estate affairs private. Strangers do not have access to the terms of your living trust. Only certain beneficiaries and possible heirs can request a copy of the revocable living trust after you pass away.

You can dictate who will inherit from your estate

If you pass away without a Will, your estate will be divided and distributed in Probate Court following the rules of intestate succession in the California probate code. Certain relatives will be entitled to a share of your estate even if you feel they are not deserving. By establishing a revocable living trust, you can designate who you want to inherit from your estate. You can designate what and how much each one will received from your estate after you pass away. The assets distributed to each beneficiaries does not have to be equal. The people you designate as beneficiaries of your living trust does not even have to be close family members. You can designate anyone as a beneficiary, with certain exceptions, of your estate.

You can structure your estate to minimize estate taxes

If your estate is valued above the estate tax exemption, establishing a trust can allow you to divide up your estate into smaller sub trusts to minimize the overall estate tax effect on your estate. It allows you to set up a vehicle for certain charitable giving which carries tax advantage and asset protection. You can choose who will administer your estate after your death When you establish a revocable trust, you can appoint someone else as trustee or you can appoint a successor trustee if you are the initial trustee. The trustee will be administering (managing) the trust after you pass away without a need to open a probate court case. This allows for continuity in operating the trust and the efficient and cost effective distribution of estate assets. If you are concerned about whether you can trust any family members as your trustee, you can appoint an institution as a professional trustee to carry out the terms of the declaration of trust. These type of trustee services are often offered by banks, financial institutions, wealth management firms, and business management firms for a reasonable fee. This minimizes conflicts within the family and prevents negligence and wrong doing by inexperienced family members.
* * * Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 747, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail kureyeslaw@gmail.com or visit our website at Kenreyeslaw.com

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is really about peace of mind. What estate planning is everything about is discovering the right devices to execute your basic requirements. What that means is that we make use of the most sophisticated legal files to effectively execute your desires. We customize each and every strategy so that you get precisely what you want. We do this using the most current devices so that we can prepare a customized strategy at the lowest possible cost. Kindly call us today with any concerns.
http://ift.tt/1SWgBzL
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 techniques.

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

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 in the Digital Age Part 2

Planning for Digital Assets

Below is a great article on estate planning in this digital age.  This follows our article from last week on the same subject.  Our current society really has some different things that we must take into consideration, and your estate plan needs to reflect that.  It used to be simple – just pass your real estate and some personal effects and you are done.  But what do you do with reward points?  What about your social profiles?  What happens if you have an online-based business.  Take a look and then feel free to call us with your thoughts, comments, etc.

The Eastman Law Firm.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

http://ift.tt/1Tqr1oY

Digital estate planning guide

Reports are that musician Prince died without leaving a will. You may not have millions in assets, but have you acted to take care of your estate and your heirs after you pass away? If so, have you considered the digital aspects of your legacy?

Technology has required a change in end-of-life planning. Many important bits of information are stored online or in the cloud that spouses or heirs can find themselves locked out of due to a lack of password. It is also not practical to change a will every time you change a password.

New companies have sprung up to take advantage of this need. Digital estate planners help you take care of all of your end-of-life planning, while compiling the necessary passwords and digital footprints that you wish to pass on to others. With names like Everplans.com, Final Roadmap, Planned Departure, and The Digital Beyond, these sites offer comprehensive services to ensure that important information is passed down to the proper parties and that your wishes are clearly noted and accessible.

Digital estate planners offer a useful combination of convenience and security. They allow you to upload all of the typical documents such as wills, health care directives, and trusts. You can also lay out and store plans for anything else you want to be addressed after death like the details of your funeral (to the extent you want to dictate them), the disposition of all your online accounts (financial and social), appraisals and dispositions of family heirlooms, important photos, and details of family genealogy.

Even day-to-day details could be included — for example, to help heirs handle a home that is passed down. How many bills are there, and where are they routed? Where are the water and gas shutoffs? Is there important maintenance information such as roof replacement or foundation piers that will be important in assessing the home’s value? A bit of pre-emptive planning now could save your heirs a lot of time, and potentially keep your home intact.

Digital planning sites allow you to choose who has access to your information and when they can access it (currently, at some future date, or upon your death). Be sure to keep this information current, and let your chosen designees know about the site and that you have chosen them as one of the guardians of your information.

There is one potential downfall of digital estate planning — the long-term viability of the company that you choose. It is wise to keep a backup copy of the most important online documents such as your will, but remember to update both the online and backup copies at the same time. Otherwise, you may have two versions of your paperwork and confusion (and probably legal fees) will ensue. Remember to let at least one person know that the documents exist and where they are being kept.

Before you dive into the world of digital estate planning, we suggest that you take time to reflect on your wishes and discuss them with your family. These sites will ask in-depth questions that you really do not want to decide on in the spur of the moment. Do not forget to consult with a lawyer on all areas that require legal assistance, such as wills, business succession plans, or intellectual property holdings. Take special care with your health care directives and other end-of-life requests.

Consider if a digital planning site can meet your end-of-life needs. You can save your family from having to make incredibly difficult decisions under stress.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is all about peace of mind. What estate planning is all about is finding 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 personalized plan at the lowest possible cost.
http://ift.tt/1Tqr1oZ
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 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

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 in the Digital Age

How to Plan for Digital Assets

Below is a great article on estate planning in this digital age.  Our current society really has some different things that we must take into consideration, and your estate plan needs to reflect that.  It used to be simple – just pass your real estate and some personal effects and you are done.  But what do you do with reward points?  What about your social profiles?  What happens if you have an online-based business.  These are the things that we focus on, whether in KC or our Blue Springs office.  Take a look and then feel free to call us with your thoughts, comments, etc.

See more below.

See our Facebook page here.

See our Twitter page here.

Leawood estate planning attorneys

Vonnegut: The New Estate Planning That’s Critical for Clients
http://ift.tt/1QycTIe

People need a plan for how their online presence will be handled at death and financial advisers should step up to help them

Last month a social-media website alerted me that a friend was celebrating over 30 years on the job at the company she founded. It was a nice thought. But she passed away several years ago after succumbing to cancer.

Digital echoes occur all the time on the Internet. After pausing a moment with a warm memory of my friend, I wondered what to do, whether it was my place to notify someone. Apparently, she had neglected to leave instructions with her executor.

In this case it was no harm, no foul. But “cyber intestacy””or the failure to provide for one’s online presence at death”can cost families real money, just as when someone dies without a will, or “intestate.” That’s especially so as wealth management goes paperless and there are fewer, visible clues about the financial decisions of others.

Financial advisers should get out in front of this problem. That is what clients expect from advisers in the first place”the planning, the preparation for the unforeseen. Because at its core, wealth management is a business of tomorrows.

And the tomorrows can get complicated when clients haven’t planned for their online estates or left clear records about their digital footprints. Automatic payments continue to repeat after their deaths. Or credit cards go unpaid. Or good-until-cancelled orders execute. Or heirs struggle to access treasured photographs, domain names and medical records.

By including digital estate plans as a topic in your practice, you help clients determine who makes decisions after they die. Which is a good thing. Because if they fail to plan, the vagaries of digital intestacy take over. And given the changing regulatory landscape, it isn’t clear who will be calling the shots: fiduciaries, Joe Dotcoms or, perhaps, somebody entirely unexpected.

Regulatory background

Believe it or not, the principles governing digital estates trace back to the 4th amendment, which guarantees U.S. citizens the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…”

Computer users have the same expectation of privacy, says Suzanne Brown Walsh, an estate-planning attorney with Murtha Cullina LLP. But computer networks aren’t necessarily protected by the 4th amendment, she says.

To fill this gap, Congress and state legislatures have enacted laws that protect user privacy and penalize unauthorized access. But they are almost all silent on allowing fiduciaries to act on your behalf after your death.

Uh-oh.

In their terms-of-service agreements, the stuff we never read and to which we robo-click “yes,” digital businesses define who has access to user accounts and under what circumstances.

Many companies forbid access by someone other than the account holder without the company’s prior consent. And their contracts enable them to resist when, say, executors request access to the emails of a decedent.

Break the law to help clients?

To protect against the unexpected, family members sometimes share passwords with each other or their fiduciaries. It’s easy. It’s effective most of the time. Almost everybody does it at one time or another.

So what’s the big deal?

Sharing passwords is likely to be illegal, says Ms. Walsh, who explains that some terms-of-service agreements flatly prohibit it.

Legislators recognize, however, that executors require access. Last year, the Uniform Law Commission, an organization that tries to standardize laws across the 50 states, completed the model Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which would grant fiduciaries the right to manage digital estates.

Ms. Walsh, who chaired the committee that drafted the act, says, “It represents a reasonable compromise between privacy advocates, tech companies, and the trusts and estates bar.”

But so far only 10 states have approved the bill. Only 18 more have introduced it into their legislatures. Which means digital estate plans are still a movable feast, and control over online rights is a function of state law or terms-of-service agreements or friends and family members, who simply share passwords with each other.

What advisers should do

Here’s what I recommend:

1. Check whether your home state has introduced or approved the act. The Uniform Law Commission website shows the state-by-state status.

2. Ask clients whether their wills contain digital-asset clauses. While these provisions grant access to executors in theory, service providers may still resist them depending on the laws of the state.

3. Ask attorneys whether they recommend forms that give digital authority to fiduciaries. In her practice, Ms. Walsh uses a form entitled, “Authorization for Release of Electronically Stored Information.”

4. Recommend that your clients take an inventory of their digital assets with real value, such as frequent flier miles. It’s worth calling companies to understand their policies.

5. If you don’t have a “chief technology officer” on your team, go find a millennial and recruit him or her to your practice.

Back to my friend, whose digital echo started this column. The social-media site uses a thoughtful form, which enables members to notify administrators about the deaths of other members. After considerable deliberation and as a matter of respect, I submitted a link to her obituary, taking care to indicate that I wasn’t a close friend nor a representative of the family. I hope it was the right thing to do.

Estate Planning Lawyers in Leawood

Estate Planning is all about assurance. What estate planning is all about is discovering the right tools to execute your basic needs. What that implies is that we use the most advanced legal documents to properly implement your desires. We customize each and every strategy so that you get exactly what you want. We do this using the most recent tools so that we can prepare a personalized strategy at the most affordable possible expense. Kindly call us today with any concerns.
http://ift.tt/1NVkFMj
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

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.