Estate Planning

Planning for your future can be intimidating — especially when the plans involve your death or incapacitation. But making decisions about what will happen when you die or are unable to take care of yourself is critically important to make sure that your wishes are followed.

Susan McKinney has assisted individuals throughout the Kansas City metro area with their Kansas estate plans. This includes drafting last wills and testaments, powers of attorney, trusts and more. She offers comprehensive estate plans that are customized to meet her clients’ needs.  

What Type of Estate Planning Do You Need?

Each person and family have different requirements when it comes to their estate plans. No matter how much or how little wealth you have accumulated, a well-drafted estate plan can help protect your assets, provide for your children, minimize taxes and make sure that your wishes are carried out if you die or become incapacitated in some way. 

An estate plan can:

  • Minimize estate taxes
  • Make decisions about medical care in advance
  • Provide for long-term care
  • Ensure that your loved ones inherit your property
  • Establish a trust
  • Make sure that your minor children are cared for appropriately

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Estate Planning Services

Medical Power of Attorney (Advanced Directive): A medical power of attorney, also called an advanced directive, designates a person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are cannot due to illness or injury. In an advanced directive, you can decide if you do or do not want life-saving treatment such as resuscitation, intravenous fluids or nutrition, and life-support. Because a person can become incapacitated unexpectedly, having an advanced directive can ensure that your wishes regarding medical treatment are followed if you cannot make these decisions or yourself. 

Power of Attorney: A power of attorney, sometimes called a financial or durable power of attorney, names a person to handle the financial affairs for an incapacitated person. It establishes a system to take care of your financial matters, such as accessing your bank accounts and paying bills, if you are unable to do so. For a power of attorney to be effective, it must be made before you become incapacitated due to illness or injury.

Last Will and Testament: A will is a legal document, typically drafted by an attorney, that takes effect after you die. A Will appoints an executor to act as the personal representative of your estate; he or she will “probate” your will after you die, making sure that your property is disposed of properly and that all of your financial matters are settled. Having a will is important no matter what your financial situation may be. If you do not have a will when you pass away, then your assets will be distributed to others based on Kansas laws regarding intestate succession. With a will, you can make sure that your wishes are followed after death. You can also use a will to plan your estate effectively to minimize taxes.

Guardianship: If you have minor children, it is crucial to consider what will happen to them if you die or become incapacitated.  A guardianship plan allows parents to make a plan for their children if they can no longer care for them due to death or incapacitation, including who will take care of the children. 

Trust: A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a person (trustee) to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. There are many types of trusts, each with different advantages that can help you achieve goals such as maintaining privacy, reducing estate taxes, providing for loved ones with special needs and avoiding probate.

Estate Planning Attorney in Kansas City

Susan McKinney is available to help you with all of your Kansas estate planning and probate needs. She will guide you through the emotional and complicated process of planning for your own death or incapacitation, making sure that your wishes are followed regarding your property and assets, your minor children, and your medical and financial needs. Contact my office today to schedule a consultation on drafting these important legal documents.