Proper estate planning is key to your wishes being met.
Do you have an idea of who you want to get what when you die?
Are you concerned your wishes may not be carried out?
If you try to DIY your estate planning, then it more likely that your wishes will not be carried out.
According to a recent MD Magazine article titled “Making Sure Your Heirs Get What You Intend,” proper planning requires attention to detail and professional help.
If you have Individual Retirement Accounts, annuities, pensions, or a 401(k) plan, you need to review and update your beneficiaries on these accounts.
These assets are not passed through your will.
They are distributed directly to the beneficiary or beneficiaries named on the accounts.
Many people have a majority of their assets in such accounts.
By neglecting to update these beneficiary designations, the bulk of your estate could end up in the wrong hands.
You must also work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create an estate plan to meet your goals and your specific circumstances.
If you need a will, an experienced estate planning attorney can craft one to work in tandem with your beneficiary designations to ensure your wishes are followed.
Do you need a trust?
Again, it all depends on your goals and specific circumstances.
A"revocable living" trust can be helpful, especially if you become incapacitated.
It can also be helpful if you want to exert greater control over your assets and how they are used after you pass away, all the while avoiding probate.
Like wills, creating trusts is not at DIY project.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney admitted to practice law in your state.
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: MD Magazine (July 25, 2018) “Making Sure Your Heirs Get What You Intend”