5 Reasons to Have an Estate Plan

From Texas Tech law professor Gerry Beyer, a noted estate planning scholar and author of the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof blog, here are 5 reasons to have an estate plan.

Many people think that only wealthy married couples need estate plans. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are an adult or have children, you need an estate plan. Every adult needs at least a will, a living will, a durable medical power of attorney, and a durable financial power of attorney. Many adults greatly benefit from using a trust to shield their hard-earned wealth from taxes and protecting assets or a professional practice (e.g. law, medicine, engineering, accounting). If our law firm, Johnson Law KC LLC, can help you with your estate planning needs, call (913-707-9220) or email us (steve@johnsonlawkc.com) for a convenient appointment and a free 1/2 hour consultation.

(c) 2012, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

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Digital Estate Planning: Email Access

Via the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog comes this helpful article from Elder Law Answers about being sure to include email access in your estate plan.

Many people wisely visit their attorney to make an estate plan to provide for their family and facilitate a smooth transition of their hard earned wealth and handling their last affairs. But most people don’t think about digital estate planning – emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, computer passwords, online banking and investment accounts, YouTube video accounts, Flickr and other photo sharing sites, and even contents of computers and smart phones. Be sure your digital assets are protected with a digital estate plan. If our firm, Johnson Law KC LLC, can help you with your digital estate planning needs, call (913-707-9220) or email us (steve@johnsonlawkc.com) for a convenient appointment.

(c) 2012, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

Special Needs Trusts for Veterans and Military Families

Via the Wills and Trusts Prof blog, Bernard Krooks, a New York lawyer who spoke very persuasively on long term care planning at the 2012 KC Estate Planning Symposium, has this article in Forbes on a new provision to allow military veterans and active service members to start special needs trusts for their severely disabled children, to ensure their families receive better care. Great idea, advocated by Sen. Jerry Moran, who hails from the great state of Kansas (my home state).

If our law firm, Johnson Law KC LLC, can help you and your family with a special needs trust to provide for your family member, please call (913-707-9220) or email us (steve@johnsonlawkc.com) for a convenient appointment.

(c) 2012, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

Facebook: to prenup or not?

Last week’s Facebook IPO made several early investors billionaires or millionaires – kudos to them on having a nice payday from their investment. Donald Trump offered some indirect advice –  get a premarital agreement – to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder, official face, and the world’s youngest billionaire. As it turns out, Zuckerberg married his long time girlfriend the day after the IPO in a private ceremony – congratulations to the happy couple!

So do estate planners recommend premarital agreements for their clients? It depends on the lawyer. I recommend couples consider premarital agreements when it’s a 2nd marriage for both spouses, to help resolve potential inheritance issues with their children from previous marriages. But I don’t usually advise couples to get premarital agreements in cases of wealth inequality or some other circumstances. What do you think? To prenup or not?

(c) 2012, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.