Whether your estate is large or small, our estate planning group can help put in place a plan to carry out your wishes when the time comes. Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, and having a well-considered plan in place can give your family a sense of peace and comfort knowing that they can take time to grieve instead of dealing with potential family disputes or uncertainties.
We offer preparation of Wills, Transfer on Death documents, Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Asset Transfers, Family and Generation-Skipping Trusts, Charitable Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Living Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney for both Health Care Decisions and Financial Decisions, Guardianships, and Conservatorships. If you are not sure what kind of planning documents you require, our attorneys will be happy to assist you in evaluating your situation and recommending what best fits your needs.
Life changes every day. Divorce, marriage, adoption, and birth of children can alter your estate plan. We offer services to prepare Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements, Trust Amendments, and Will Codicils to adjust to life events that could have an unintended impact on your original estate plan.
Tax returns and potential tax obligations are important considerations. Our attorneys can help you understand the potential tax obligations you may face with your estate plan and determine how to minimize federal and state gift, inheritance, and estate taxes, for you, your spouse, and your children. We assist in preparation of federal estate and inheritance tax returns and gift and generation-skipping tax returns. We also provide assistance in resolving disputes with the IRS and Kansas Department of Revenue.
If a person has not transferred their assets to a trust or to others before they die, their estate needs to go through probate. The court reviews the assets and debts belonging to the person and determines the distribution of those assets and payment of debts. The probate process can be straightforward, but can sometimes be lengthy and complicated, depending on the estate. We work to streamline the process, whether you are a beneficiary, fiduciary, guardian, conservator, trustee, executor or administrator.
Taxes, or at least tax returns, are an important part of the process. We assist with federal and state gift taxes, inheritance taxes, and estate taxes, for you, your spouse, and your children. We assist with preparation of federal estate and inheritance tax returns and gift and generation-skipping tax returns. Or we can recommend qualified tax preparers to assist you with this process.
If a loved one does not have the mental capacity to care for themselves or make decisions, a guardianship is an option. We help clients apply for the guardianship, understand their roles and responsibilities as a guardian, file any necessary documents with the court, and advise on care options.
An adult with an impairment may require assistance in managing their financial affairs, in which case a conservatorship is an option. A conservator is a person who manages and cares for the financial interests of another. We assist clients through the process of applying for the conservatorship, explain their roles and responsibilities, and assist with the preparation of reports required by the courts.
Trusts are common estate planning tools. A trust is designed to prevent the need for probate proceedings and gives specific directions on how assets are to be distributed upon your death. A trust can be as simple as filing an accounting and writing checks to the beneficiaries, or it could be more complicated by having to sell real estate, conduct appraisals on collections, or operate or sell business interests. A trust may also be used to restrict or slow down distribution to beneficiaries by putting age restrictions or other qualifications in the trust. The trustee is responsible for making sure the terms of the trust are carried out and are sometimes given discretion in doing that. We can assist with every aspect of trust administration, including required accountings and reports, whether you are the trustee or a beneficiary.
Litigation & Legal Disputes
When disputes arise regarding an estate plan, a probate estate, a trust, a guardianship, or a conservatorship, we can advise about the rights and obligations involved and assist in resolving the dispute. Examples of types of disputes in this area include:
- Issues regarding the validity of a will or trust, including from undue influence or competency.
- Issues regarding rights and obligations under a will or trust.
- Challenges to fiduciary actions, including by executors, administrators, trustees, guardians, and conservators.
- Challenges to fiduciary fees.