I stumbled across an article written by Paul Sullivan that The New York Times published on January 26, 2009 that contained some useful information about estate planning.
Although the article is five months old, its content is no less important today than at the time the article was published. Unfortunately, too many people overlook the benefits of prudent (and often simple) estate planning. Many people feel that since issues tend to come up after they have died, that is a problem for their children. Unfortunately, this “problem” often results in irreparably damaging the bond between siblings. Greed and pride often get the best of family members and without written ground rules as to how property is to be divided, disputes frequently arise.
If that is not enough of a reason to do some prudent estate planning, it is also important to consider the benefits of estate planning while you are alive. Medical directives and living wills are often the only way to make sure that your wishes are carried out in the event that you are incapacitated.
If you are considering estate planning, you should consult with an attorney. Each state’s laws related to wills and trusts varies, and it is important that you consult with someone who knows the law. As reported in the article, there are also “do-it-yourself” websites that also offer basic estate planning documents. While these may not offer the flexibility that some people would like to have, they are generally simple and less expensive.
The Kueser Law Firm is licensed to practice in Missouri and Kansas. If you would like a consultation, please contact us at 816.374.5865 or visit our website, www.jmkesquire.com, for more information.