Dying can actually be the easy part. Leaving an inheritance behind can be a challenge, especially if you want to do it right. Such is the case whether you are in Overland Park or elsewhere.
Any possessions that outlive you become the inheritance of another just like that. In fact, the laws of every state provide for the “intestate succession” of assets for which there are zero post-mortem plans in place. (Basically, the assets pass according to your family tree.)
Then again, who wants to leave behind a legal, a financial and even a tax mess? Is that how you want to be remembered? As the old adage puts it, most folks do not “plan to fail, they just fail to plan.” In this sense, leaving an inheritance behind can get a bit tricky and can take some expert guidance to do it well.
This business of leaving an inheritance was taken up by Forbes recently in an article titled “How To Inherit Wealth Without Screwing Up.” (Incidentally, it is hard to inherit wealth without screwing it up, but this piece has far more to do with the ways you can leave it behind and screw it up, in spite of the title).
The big picture is that there is the "will" and then there is the "estate plan." For all the drama (both literary and real drama) surrounding the will, it only does so much. Truly, the will only assists with the probate process, but it has nothing to do with retirement accounts that have a named beneficiary, bank accounts that "transfer on death," or assets held "jointly with rights of survivorship," not to mention insurance policies and a host of other sources of legal and fiduciary clutter.
The estate plan is the concept that pulls it all together and considers your life, your assets, and your family in a holistic way.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Forbes (November 22, 2013) “How To Inherit Wealth Without Screwing Up”