Wills are the foundation of an estate plan.
Many people do not think they need an estate plan.
Do you fall into this category?
If yes, you are wrong.
According to a recent South Coast Register article “Dying to Know Day: Wills and won’ts of estate planning,” having a valid will is essential to estate planning.
Your will allows you to designate who gets what when you die.
It gives you control over what you built.
What if you do not have a will?
If you do not have a will and have not carefully arranged for your assets to pass directly by some form of "beneficiary designation" or via a revocable living trust, then the state will divide your assets to your family according to intestacy laws for the state.
What if you have no family?
Your estate may be paid to the state.
Let us consider these options.
You could create a will and leave money to charity if you have no family, or you could leave it to the government.
Leaving money to charity sounds more ideal.
How do you create a will?
The best way to create a will is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
If a will leaves out important details, it cost your family money and emotional stress.
An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to make sure your will is valid and can help you select the right executor.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
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), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: South Coast Register (August 9, 2017) “Dying to Know Day: Wills and won’ts of estate planning.”