Let’s be honest: When it comes to wills, trusts and estates, a lot of people aren’t quite sure what they are — or why they’re even necessary.
For that reason, we see too many people left out in the cold when something unexpected happens to someone they love. In many cases, all of the trouble could have been saved with a little wills, trusts and estates planning.
Don’t let that happen to you. Let attorney Kevin Kenney help you with your will, trust and estate planning in Kansas or Missouri. Put your mind at ease with our legal expertise — and rest easy knowing you and your family are protected with our experienced assistance.
Want to learn more about estate planning for wills and trusts? You can schedule a consultation with attorney Kevin Kenney at any time by calling 913-671-8008. You can also read more about this topic below, but remember: This information on this webpage is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.
What is Will, Trusts and Estate Planning?
Understanding wills, trusts and estates is about more than knowing what each individual factor involves. You must know how they all interact with each other — and how they can help you protect your family’s future, should the unthinkable happen.
Simply put, wills, trusts and estates help parents prepare and arrange for the disbursement of their estate after they are gone. When a family begins estate planning with wills and trusts, they will make many important decisions to help protect the future of their children and their property.
There are several important components when it comes to will or trust estate planning in Kansas or Missouri. Attorney Kevin Kenney can guide you through all of the following:
Guardianship Designation for Minor Children
Let’s start with the first aspect of wills, trusts, and estates planning: wills.
Part of every estate plan is the last will and testament. A last will and testament allows you to control how your estate will be distributed after you pass away. Among other things, this document also allows parents to designate a guardian for their child or children in the event of the parents’ passing.
Designating a guardian in your will essentially binds the judge to appoint that person as your child’s legal guardian, giving you the peace of mind that your child will be cared for by the guardian of your choice. This designation also protects your child from custody challenges among relatives.
For more information on this aspect of wills, trusts and estates property law, give our law offices a call.
When it comes to estate protection, trusts and wills play a big role. So, we’ll talk a little bit about the purpose of trusts here.
As a parent, you need to plan for your children’s financial future. There are two primary ways to do this: You can either let your child’s guardian handle the money in a court-appointed conservator role, or you can create a trust, which allows an independent trustee to manage the money.
If you choose to designate your child’s guardian as a conservator, that role will end when the child turns 18, and all of the money will be transferred to your child at that time. Alternatively, if you create a trust, you can extend the trustee’s responsibilities for as long as you choose, often until your child reaches age 40. In these arrangements, incremental distributions will be made to your child over time until the trust ends.
Trusts are beneficial for a number of reasons. Unlike conservatorships, they allow your child to access your finances without managing all of the money in your estate at once. Having a plan in place ahead of time also simplifies financial decisions for the recipients of your property. In addition, you can plan for incapacity or disability, designating a person to manage your funds in the event that you were no longer able to manage them yourself.
Not sure whether a conservatorship or a trust is the best solution for your wills, trust and estates planning? Schedule a consult with attorney Kevin Kenney for his legal advice.
Power of Attorney
While wills and trusts are documents that primarily plan for after death, durable powers of attorney are documents that are useful during your lifetime. These documents are not always included in will or trust estate planning, but Kevin encourages every family to consider designating a person to act on your behalf in case of incapacity or disability.
Kevin completes two types of powers of attorney: one for non-healthcare issues, and the other exclusively for healthcare planning. The healthcare power of attorney is combined with a healthcare directive or a “living will,” which allows you to determine your wishes for end-of-life medical care — for example, whether you would like to be kept alive by machinery when you cannot communicate your wishes.
Even though power of attorney is not typically included in wills, trusts and estates planning, it should be an essential part of your legal process. It will get you thinking about exactly your plans should you become incapacitated — which, in turn, can affect your decisions for the rest of your trusts, wills and estate planning.
Let Kevin Kenney Guide You Through Wills, Trusts and Estates Law in Kansas City
When you’re a parent, planning your wills, trusts and estates is one of the most important steps you can take to plan for your family’s future. It is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney in Kansas City who is familiar with the legal nuances of this process, many of which are income and estate-tax driven.
Kevin Kenney has years of experience with estate planning, wills and trusts in Kansas and Missouri and can provide all of the services you need to achieve the peace of mind your family deserves. To learn more about Kevin’s trusts, wills and estate planning services in Missouri and Kansas, contact him today to schedule a consultation.