When you’re estate planning, one of the first documents you’ll have to complete is a last will and testament. This document will guide the rest of your estate planning proceedings and give your estate attorney the basic information with which to move forward.
But, will preparation can be confusing. That’s one of the reasons why more than half of Americans over the age of 55 don’t have a will at all.
You don’t need to be of an older age to recognize the importance of a last will and testament. In fact, anyone over the age of 18 should consider the importance of estate planning, starting with drafting a basic last will and testament for their needs.
Attorney Kevin Kenney is here to help. He can evaluate your personal situation and help you draft a personal last will and testament to suit your circumstances. To get started today, schedule a consultation online or call his offices at 913-671-8008.
In the meantime, you can learn a bit more about creating a last will and testament in Kansas City below. However, please keep in mind that this information is not intended to be nor should it be taken as legal advice.
What is a Last Will and Testament?
There are many different types of wills out there, so it’s completely normal to get confused about the difference between a last will and testament, a living will, a revocable will and more. That’s where an experienced lawyer’s advice can come in handy. Kevin Kenney fits the bill.
However, before you contact his law firm, it’s a good idea to understand a bit more about exactly what a last will and testament is — and the purpose it serves in estate planning proceedings.
While every person’s will is different, their last will and testament definition will always be about the same. Simply put, it’s a document that allows you to control how your estate and assets will be distributed after you pass away.
Often, the best last will and testament addresses:
- Real estate, including homes and other property
- Checking and savings accounts
- Life insurance
- Furniture, jewelry and other significant personal possessions
- And more
Exactly what a last will and testament looks like will depend upon what a person wants to protect in the future. Some parents will focus solely on their children’s inheritance, while others will decide to donate their assets to philanthropic causes. Other people even include instructions on how their pets will be cared for after they die.
An attorney like Kevin Kenney can help you decide exactly how to write a last will and testament in Missouri or Kansas that best meets your desires.
What is the Purpose of a Last Will and Testament?
A last will and testament is about more than just saying which of your belongings will go to which person after your death. It’s a document that will protect your beneficiaries as much as it will benefit your personal desires.
Without a last will and testament and other estate planning documents, your estate will go into limbo after your death. A standard last will and testament takes the first step to allocate certain assets to certain people. Combining a basic last will and testament with other estate planning procedures will help your beneficiaries avoid the complications that may come with the probate process later on. In addition, a personal last will and testament — when created with an experienced tax estate attorney — can save your beneficiaries from having to pay estate taxes on their inheritance.
A last will and testament also serves the important purpose of designating an executor to carry out your wishes for the legal and financial matters of your estate. This is just one more step to avoid the hassle that can occur when you pass away without a will — or without a legally valid will (more on that below).
Finally, a last will and testament plays the important role of appointing guardians for minor children upon the maker’s death.
Start Your Last Will and Testament in Kansas or Missouri Today
Many times, people want a “quick-and-easy” last will and testament that they can do on their own with a free document online. But, what seems “quick and easy” at the time you do it won’t ensure your beneficiaries have the same experience when it comes time to divide your assets.
The only way to properly protect your wishes and your estate is by working with an experienced estate attorney like Kevin Kenney. Will and estate laws vary by state; only your local attorney can ensure your last will and testament (and other estate planning documents) meet required legal steps and procedures. Without this expert guidance, your beneficiaries could be in for a great surprise when they attempt to enact your will after your death.
If you’re getting ready to write a last will and testament in Kansas or Missouri, reach out to attorney Kevin Kenney today. He can answer all of your questions about this process and ensure you are following through with your will legally and efficiently. He can also provide references to local financial advisors, if you do not yet have a professional in mind.
Get started today by scheduling an initial consultation online or giving his legal team a call at 913-671-8008.