In Kansas, "estate planning" broadly refers to the process through which someone decides what is to be done with their assets after death.
The first step in any estate plan is to figure out what you truly want to be done with your assets after your death. This is a very personal decision, and you should discuss it with your family, and others who might have a direct interest in your decisions. As for truly implementing your goals, you should probably speak with a legal and/or financial professional to figure out the best way to accomplish these intentions.
In addition to decisions concerning the disposition of your property, you should decide how you want to spend your final days. For example, many people have a strong preference about whether and to what extent they'd like to be kept alive by artificial means. Whatever your assessment on this matter is, you should make it clear to the people who will be positioned to make such arrangements for you, if you are unable.
A knowledgeable estate planner in Kansas may also help you maximize the percentage of your assets that go to your chosen beneficiaries, by minimizing the impact of taxes and court fees. Moreover, preventing a will or other estate plan from being litigated in court will save your survivors an incalculable amount of time, money, and energy - and the better an estate plan is, the lower its chances of ending up in court.
Common Elements of Estates in Kansas
Estate plans in Kansas almost always have these features:
Will: If you've decided who you want to leave your property and money to after you die, you should make these wishes official, by writing a will. When writing a will, it's always a good idea to have the help of an attorney, since many problems can come up which might make the will much more difficult to implement, or they might even void it entirely. Common problems include ambiguities in the terms of the will (a term which is not clearly written, so it can be interpreted differently by reasonable people), as well as failure to follow the required formalities.
Power of Attorney: This is a legal document in which you give some other person (typically a family member) the ability to make decisions (often related to money or healthcare) on your behalf if you become incapable of doing so.
Funeral Arrangements: Obviously, deciding what you want done with your mortal remains is a very personal decision. However, once you have made this decision, you should put it in writing, in some place other than your will. You should also make your wishes known to your family members. This is because wills are often not read until days or weeks after the testator dies, by which point it may be too late to implement their wishes on this matter.
Do I Need a Kansas Estate Planning Attorney?
To most people, these issues are necessary to their peace of mind during life. Accordingly, it's very important to make them with the help of a knowledgeable Kansas attorney, to make sure that they have the best possible chance of being implemented.
Interesting Facts About Kansas
Kansas is known for its mix of traditional Midwestern agriculture and modern metropolitan installments. It has served as home to influential figures such as President Dwight Eisenhower and activist Erin Brockovich. Kansas is nicknamed "The Wheat State" as well as "The Sunflower State", both testaments to the state's agricultural foundations.
Kansas' lawmaking legislature has been credited with a number of "first" in terms of legislative initiatives. It was the first to initiate a system for worker's compensation in 1910. In 1911 the state was also the first to regulate the securities industry. The next year, it provided for women's suffrage, nearly 10 years before the U.S. Constitution was amended to include such rights.
In addition, Kansas is noted for one of the most famous Supreme Court Cases ever adjudicated in U.S. history. This is the case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954). The Brown opinion declared educational segregation based on race to be unconstitutional. The ruling was highly influential in many other areas of law and legislation. There is even a Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site located in Topeka.
Lawyers in Kansas continue the state's legacy of outstanding legal services. Kansas lawyers provide representation in court for those with legal disputes or claims. Legal questions and inquiries can be resolved by contacting an attorney in Kansas.