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3 reasons to establish an estate plan when you have kids

People often think of estate planning as a task meant for the elderly. As time goes on, the urgency of estate planning indeed increases, but people of every age should be investing time into planning for the future. This is especially true if you happen to have young children. Establishing a will or trust is an essential component of ensuring that they are not just financially secure in the future, but cared for, too. 

There are many reasons why you should establish an estate plan when you have kids. Whether you are a single parent or are married and starting your family, a will or trust can provide peace of mind. Consider enlisting help from an attorney to ensure that you are addressing all your family's needs in yours.

Estate planning mistakes to avoid

If you are age 60 or older, you may be thinking about your future in terms of retirement and beyond. Estate planning is an essential part of this phase of your life because it ensures the fulfillment of your wishes regarding the handling of your assets and property.

Unfortunately, many people make some critical mistakes when it comes to planning for the future of their assets. Estate planning mistakes can cause hardship for the family members you leave behind after you die. It can also make your wishes null and void, if the processes you use to prepare legal documents were carried out incorrectly. As you approach your estate planning, ensure that you avoid these critical mistakes.

How your charitable trust can benefit your church

If you are a Kansas resident for whom your church is one of the most important aspects of your life, you may wish to consider setting up a charitable trust to benefit it now and/or in the future. While you may not be a wealthy person who can afford to give much more than your tithe, you have the flexibility to set up your charitable trust so that it benefits not only your church, but also you as well.

The beauty of a charitable trust is that it gives you significant control over the assets you place in it and the flexibility of deciding when, how and to whom the income from those assets, plus the assets themselves, are distributed. In addition, such a trust lets you accomplish four separate goals:

  1. Charitable giving
  2. Wealth preservation
  3. Estate planning
  4. Tax management

Collaborative divorce: a more amicable option

Divorce is never easy, whether in Kansas or anywhere else. All your hopes for a “happily ever after” life with your spouse are crashing around you, and you, (s)he and your children are upset, stressed and unsure of what the future now holds.

No one enjoys fighting, especially when it comes to such important issues as your own welfare and that of your children. Nevertheless, a traditional litigated divorce usually entails an acrimonious court battle that can take months – and a goodly amount of money – to resolve. Despite whatever differences you and your spouse may have, it is likely that both of you wish there were a better way to end your marriage. There is: a collaborative divorce. It may be just the answer that both of you are looking for.

Estate planning steps to take after divorce

You have just come through a divorce, and chances are, it was a stressful time. Now you are looking forward to seeing what the rest of your life has in store for you, but there is one more thing it can be important to do. That is redoing your estate planning.

After all, your ex-spouse probably figures largely into your current estate plan. Here are a few key first steps you may want to consider.

Protect your disabled child with a special needs trust

Planning for your disabled child’s future involves special considerations, as you may have to figure out who will provide for your son or daughter once you are no longer around to do so yourself. In addition to financial considerations, you must also consider factors such as medical care, where your child will live and so on, but getting these matters squared away can help minimize stress and improve your peace of mind.

A common method parents of disabled children use to prepare for the future involves creating a special needs trust. In addition to helping you set aside money for your disabled child’s future, a special needs trust also offers you and your child a level of protection against him or her potentially losing access to government benefits after your passing.

What to put in your will if you are a younger adult

If you are like many young people, the thought of making your will might not often cross your mind. You may not have considered estate planning at all. After all, creating a will or trust is for Kansas residents who are retired or have significant or complex assets, right? You might be surprised to learn that you are never too young to start thinking about making your will after you have reached adulthood.

When you are just starting out in your career, you might not have much in the way of property, money, retirement funds or other items to put in your will, but estate planning often involves more than the inheritance you leave your loved ones. In fact, you can begin building your estate as soon as you move out of your parents’ home and start work. Significant life events, such as getting married and having children, will also affect your long-term estate planning.

Do I need an estate plan if I am single?

Estate plans benefit many people, including single people, and even those who have no close relatives. For example, you may like to leave your assets to your church or favorite charity instead of to a far-flung, near-stranger relative. A well-written will can guarantee this happens and that probate goes smoothly.

However, many single people do have children and other relatives they would like to leave assets to. Furthermore, they may be legally single on paper, but have been with the same person (or people) for years and want to ensure they are taken care of. Plus, with items such as advance directives, you get even more control of your life.

Tips if you plan to leave significant money to your church

When you are drawing up a will or going through estate planning, one of your priorities may be leaving money to your church. It has been a source of joy and love for you, and you want to recognize and honor the church's role in your life.

So, here are a few tips to help ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible for you and your church beneficiary.

Estate planning for your pets is more complex than leaving a will

Now that you have finished your estate planning, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You know that your last will and testament will take care of your loved ones after your death, and if an illness or injury incapacitates you before then, your relatives know your wishes regarding your care. But wait – did you remember to plan for Princess’s care after you pass away or need to move to a care facility? You and many other Kansas residents may overlook planning for your beloved pets when you are handling the estate planning for your human loved ones.

Is it possible simply to leave your pets to another family member in your will? Or, if you have no living relatives, what about leaving your estate to your pets? The answers to these questions are yes and no respectively. By law, pets are personal property and cannot own assets. Therefore, you can leave your cat to an heir in your will, but you cannot legally bequeath Princess your home and wealth.

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11005 W. 60th St. Suite 320
Shawnee, KS 66203

Phone: 913-951-0262
Fax: 913-268-9392
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