Developing a well-rounded estate plan can save you and your loved ones an immense amount of stress down the road. However, the actual process of drafting an estate plan can unfortunately be complicated, especially if you have a lot of personal assets or would like to establish instructions for end-of-life medical care in advance.
Getting through the Manhattan estate planning process efficiently is generally a lot easier with help from a knowledgeable legal professional. A qualified lawyer who knows all the ins and outs of Kansas trusts and estates law could walk you through every step and ensure your estate plan is both comprehensive and legally enforceable.
Every individual, or “testator,” who makes an estate plan has unique needs and desires, making every individual estate plan completely unique from each other. That said, everyone going through this process should keep a few particular things in mind, as they are often essential to ensuring that the directives in their will, trusts, and other planning documents are followed.
First, a testator should decide who will be their health care agent and who will be their financial agent. Depending on the testator’s instructions, these people—or a single person, if the testator desires—would take on legal authority to decide what kind of healthcare the testator receives and/or what is done with the testator’s personal assets and property in the event they become incapacitated.
Next, the testator should make a comprehensive list of every asset they own, including both real property and financial holdings, and organize them by category. Finally, a person going through the estate planning process in Manhattan should decide who they would like to name as beneficiaries of their estate following their death, as well as who should act as settlor of their estate and—if applicable—trustee of a living trust they wish to establish.
Once a testator has a good idea of what they want their estate plan to cover and has gathered all the requisite documentation, they need to create legal documents in a specific way in order for them to be enforceable. For instance, pursuant to Kansas Revised Statutes §59-606, a last will and testament must be signed by the testator with two witnesses present, both of whom must also sign the document themselves along with a Notary Public.
Similarly, K.R.S. §58a-112 establishes identical requirements for revocable living trusts as those that exist for wills, and K.R.S. §58-652 requires that durable powers of attorney be signed by the testator—or the testator’s designed representative—in the presence of a Notary Public. A qualified local lawyer could explain in detail these and other procedural requirements that may be involved in the estate planning process during a private consultation.
While there is no legal requirement for Kansas residents to retain legal counsel before making an estate plan, it is generally a good idea to do so. These plans are critical to ensuring that your assets are distributed as you want them to be after your passing. A thorough plan can also ensure that unexpected incapacitation does not prevent you from receiving your desired medical care.
Assistance from a compassionate attorney could make all the difference in how smoothly the Manhattan estate planning process goes for you. Call today to learn more.