Estate Planning in Overland Park – Think Twice about Joint Ownership

Owning assets jointly with children or other heirs is a common estate planning “shortcut.” There are two potential advantages to joint ownership: convenience and probate avoidance. But, it can also create a number of problems, such as unnecessary taxes. Adding a child’s name to the title may be considered an immediate taxable gift of one-half … Continued

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Charitable Giving in Kansas City

If your estate plan includes charitable donations, be sure to discuss any planned gifts with the intended recipients. Some charities have policies of rejecting gifts that come with strings attached; they accept only unrestricted gifts. Others may not accept certain types of assets, such as real estate. If a charity rejects your gift, the property … Continued

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Legacy Planning – Paying for Grandchildren’s College

Grandparents often want to help finance their grandchildren’s education. A simple technique is to make tuition payments on behalf of your grandchild. So long as you make the payments directly to the educational institution, they avoid gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes without using up any of your $5.49 million gift or GST tax exemption or … Continued

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Understanding Portability

Computers and phones aren’t the only things that are portable today. The gift and estate tax exemption is also “portable” for married couples. Portability simplifies estate planning by allowing a surviving spouse to use the deceased spouse’s unused portion of the $5.45 million gift and estate tax exemption amount. This article explains how married couples … Continued

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Avoid Probate and Keep Your Affairs Private

Probate is a legal procedure in which a court establishes your will’s validity, determines your estate’s value, resolves creditors’ claims, provides for the payment of taxes and transfers assets to your heirs. Downsides to probate are that it’s time consuming, expensive and public. You can avoid or minimize probate by designating beneficiaries where possible and … Continued

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Updating Your Health Care Power of Attorney

Have You Named Your Health Care Power of Attorney? Do you know who’ll make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable? Do they know your wishes? If not, a health care power of attorney and a living will are two key estate planning documents to execute today.   Read more here.

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Using Insurance with Your Estate Plan

Life insurance can provide peace of mind that your family will be provided for after you’re gone. If you’re concerned about their money management skills, an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) may be beneficial because your heirs won’t receive the insurance proceeds directly, as they would if they were the policy beneficiaries. Rather, they’ll be … Continued

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What You Need to Know About Your Individual Retirement Account

Are you leaving your IRA to someone other than your spouse? An IRA can be a powerful wealth-building tool, offering tax-deferred growth (tax-free in the case of a Roth IRA), asset protection and other benefits. But if you leave an IRA to your children — or to someone else other than your spouse — these … Continued

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Charitable Giving – What You Need to Know

Many taxpayers with charitable intentions struggle with the decision of whether to donate property to charity during their lifetimes or to make a charitable bequest in their wills that will be fulfilled from property included in their estates (testamentary bequests). While taxpayers frequently base their choice between lifetime charitable gifts and testamentary bequests on nontax … Continued

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5 Questions Single Parents Should Ask About Their Estate Plan

Estate planning for single parents of minor children is similar to estate planning for families with two parents. But when only one parent is involved, certain aspects of an estate plan demand special attention. For example, it’s critical that your will appoint a suitable and willing guardian in case you become incapacitated or die suddenly. … Continued

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