Questions to Ask When Naming a Trustee

Appointing the right trustee for your living trust provides peace of mind A living trust is a cornerstone of many estate plans. During your life, you can serve as the trustee and manage the assets just as you would if you owned them outright. However, you must choose a trustee to oversee and administer the trust … Continued

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The Digital You

We spend a lot of time in our lives accumulating things. A house, car, antiques, collectibles, books, music, and photos and other family heirlooms. From a transfer perspective, these items are easy to address. Either they go to a person or charity or they are sold and the proceeds are then distributed. What about the … Continued

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Planning for Step Children

Estate Planning Leawood – Have questions about your step-children? Blended families or those that have adopted children face a unique set of concerns for their estate plans. If your family’s makeup includes adopted or step children, it’s important to understand your estate planning options. Adopted vs. Biological Children In the eyes of the law, adopted … Continued

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Charitable Trusts

Is now the time for a charitable lead trust? Families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking advantage of a CLT currently are favorable. Although interest rates have crept up … Continued

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Estate Planning in Overland Park – Using Trusts to Guide Children

It’s a matter of principle — and trust — when using a principle trust For many, an important estate planning goal is to encourage their children or other heirs to lead responsible, productive lives. One tool for achieving this goal is a principle trust. By providing your trustee with guiding values and principles (rather than … Continued

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Estate Plans in Kansas City – Valuing Your Estate

Asset valuations and your estate plan go hand in hand If your estate plan calls for making noncash gifts in trust or outright to beneficiaries, you need to know the values of those gifts and disclose them to the IRS on a gift tax return. For substantial gifts of noncash assets other than marketable securities, … 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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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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