Q:

Why Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney?

A:

Estate planning attorneys offer the benefit of specializing in the field of estate planning. This allows them to know the intricate nuances involved in estate planning. Estate planning can be difficult and complicated, so it is important to have an expert handle it for you.

Q:

Do I Need a Will?

A:

 Yes, a will allows you to determine how your estate will be distributed after your death. Without a will, the probate court makes these decisions rather than you and your family. 

Q:

Will a Beneficiary Deed Help Me Avoid Probate?

A:

Yes, with a beneficiary deed your house and any other real estate will automatically transfer to your beneficiaries upon your death. The probate court does not get involved in this process.

Q:

What Is a Beneficiary?

A:

A beneficiary is someone who would receive your estate or part of your estate upon your death.

Q:

What Is Probate?

A:

Probate is the legal process to distribute your estate upon your death.

Q:

What is a Power of Attorney?

A:

A Power of Attorney names someone to make decisions, both healthcare and financial, on your behalf in the case of your incapacitation or illness. It is important that everyone has Powers of Attorney in place. 

Q:

What is a Living Will?

A:

A Living Will, also known as an advanced healthcare directive, allows you to decide whether you want to be kept alive by artificial means in the case of your illness beyond reasonable chance of recovery. It authorizes what sort of medical procedures you would want performed, as well as whether you want to be resuscitated or not. 

Q:

What Is a Trust?

A:

An agreement between the creator of the trust with a third party known as a trustee to hold assets titled in the name of the trust for the benefit of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts are kept private as opposed to wills which are public record.

Q:

Who Needs Estate Planning Services?

A:

 Everyone! Whether you just turned 18 and need a Power of Attorney, you are recently married and want to provide for your new spouse, or you are elderly and making end of life plans, estate planning services are vital for everyone.

Q:

I Don’t Have a Lot of Assets, Do I Still Need an Estate Plan?

A:

Yes, estate planning is not a matter of amount assets. It is planning for the future for your family or loved ones. Estate planning not only involves wills and trusts, but Powers of Attorney and healthcare directives as well!

Q:

How Do I Avoid Probate?

A:

There are several different ways this can be achieved. It can be avoided through the use of a trust, by naming two or more people to receive an asset which is known as joint-tenancy, and by non-probate beneficiary designations.

Q:

Do I Need a Trust?

A:

Possibly, your particular situation may benefit from a trust. It depends on factors such as number of beneficiaries, types of assets, whether you have beneficiaries who are minors, and length of asset distribution. 

Q:

What Happens if I Don’t Have a Durable Power of Attorney?

A:

No one would be able to make decisions for you in the case of your incapacitation without being appointed as a guardian by the probate courts. Guardianships are a lengthy and expensive process.  

Q:

What Is a Guardianship?

A:

A guardianship is a decision by the probate court to appoint someone as a legal guardian over another person. This gives the guardian the power to make decisions for an incapacitated person. These decisions include healthcare and personal decisions.

Q:

What Is a Conservatorship?

A:

A conservatorship is similar to a guardianship except it grants someone the power to make financial decisions for another person. 

Q:

How Do I Choose a Personal Representative?

A:

You want to choose someone you trust with the responsibility of handling your estate. Is the person you are considering responsible in handling their own money and assets? Would they be able to understand what is required of them? Are they capable of doing what is required of them when handling your estate?

Q:

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

A:

A trust that helps provide for someone with special needs. It does so by requiring that distributions from the trust only be made to permit the beneficiary to qualify for public assistance, or to continue their public assistance.

Q:

Can I Plan for My Pets?

A:

Yes! You can name who you want your pets to go to after you die. You can also leave money to provide for their care.

Q:

What Areas Do You Serve?

A:

Stilley Law Office serves the entire Kansas City metro. William Stilley is licensed in both Missouri and Kansas, and he has the ability to meet in Overland Park, Kansas even though the firm is located in Independence, Missouri.