Estate Planning for College Students and Young Professionals

Forbes’ Deborah Jacobs has this interesting article about the basic estate planning documents every adult needs – even college students and young professionals. The Forbes article recommends every adult should have medical and financial durable powers of attorney signed and in force. As an attorney, I agree and would add that you also need a will and a living will. If you’re married, you and your spouse should each have these documents. If you’re a wealthy person or have complex financial holdings, you may need a trust or more sophisticated documents. If you travel domestically or abroad, you also need estate planning documents in place – even if you’re not wealthy or don’t have extensive business interests. (I often insist clients execute basic estate planning documents before traveling internationally or for long periods of time for business. Otherwise, you’re risking the financial and medical well being or yourself, your family, and/or your business.) Not having estate planning documents in place is gambling with you and your family’s future. If you’re a more seasoned person, it would be “criminally negligent” (in C.S. Lewis’ words) not to have a will or other estate planning documents in place (The World’s Last Night). My firm crafts tailored estate planning documents for you that are affordable, reliable, include cutting-edge provisions standard (like asset protection, probate avoidance, elder law, and digital estate planning), and work smoothly whether you’re in the U.S. or abroad.

My law firmJohnson Law KC LLC, is experienced counseling clients from all stages and walks of life on every aspect of estate planning. We can help you answer these questions with confidence and friendly expertise. If we can serve you or your family with your charitable giving questions, please call (913-707-9220) or email us (steve@johnsonlawkc.com) to schedule a free, convenient consultation.

(c) 2014, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

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To Ex Pat or Not to Pat? Surrender Your Passport?

There is a growing trend among Americans to renounce their citizenship, move abroad, and take another country’s citizenship. Most Americans doing this are wealthy, acting in part to avoid high tax bills. But some are average, ordinary Americans who find themselves in tricky situations where being an American citizen may not be wise or prudent. Of course, being an ex pat doesn’t require giving up your citizenship – one can move to London or Paris or another place for months or years while remaining an American citizen. While I enjoy traveling to London, Paris, and other European locales, like many other folks, I’m a proud American citizen and patriot, so I would only recommend a client surrounding their passport and giving up American citizenship in very limited cases.

My law firmJohnson Law KC LLC, is experienced counseling clients from all stages and walks of life on every aspect of estate planning. We can help you answer these questions with confidence and friendly expertise. If we can serve you or your family with your charitable giving questions, please call (913-707-9220) or email us (steve@johnsonlawkc.com) to schedule a free, convenient consultation.

(c) 2014, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

Rewriting Charitable Giving Models?

CNBC has this article about how the Ice Bucket Challenge may be re-writing the rules of charitable giving. One interesting element is the democratization of charitable giving – instead of a few wealthy donors giving hundreds of thousands or millions or dollars, the focus may now be shifting to many “average Joe” (or Jane) donors giving smaller amounts of money, a sort of democratized crowd funding.

My law firmJohnson Law KC LLC, is experienced counseling clients on all aspects of estate planning, asset protection, and helping to structure charitable giving. We can help you answer these questions with confidence and friendly expertise. If we can serve you or your family with your charitable giving questions, please call (913-707-9220) or email us (steve@johnsonlawkc.com) to schedule a free, convenient consultation.

(c) 2014, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

 

 

Testamentary Capacity and Family Businesses

Bessemer Trust provides this fascinating brief study of the testamentary capacity and other issues arising from the recent sale of the LA Clippers basketball team by the Sterling Family Trust to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a cool $2 billion, following the publication of Mr Sterling’s racist comments and ensuing fine and lifetime ban from the NBA. As people begin to live longer (a good thing), we will see higher stakes contests in and out of court to prove someone did (or didn’t) have testamentary capacity – they could (or couldn’t) have validly signed a will, trust, living will, or power of attorney. Look for some high profile cases to emerge as highly contentious court battles – think celebrity or billionaire divorce trials. And look for creative attorneys to design provisions that hold up better in court or keep these matters out of court using improved negotiations and family dynamic consultations.

My law firmJohnson Law KC LLC, is experienced counseling clients on all aspects of estate planning, asset protection, and helping to structure charitable giving. We can help you answer these questions with confidence and friendly expertise. If we can serve you or your family with your charitable giving questions, please call (913-707-9220) or email us (steve@johnsonlawkc.com) to schedule a free, convenient consultation.

(c) 2014, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

 

Digital Estate Planning

From Ars Technica comes this post about Delaware’s recent adoption of the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act, an adaptation of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. On digital estate planning, as with corporate and trust law, Delaware looks poised to be the pioneering state of America. While the Act’s critics points to some concerns, this new digital estate planning law appears to at least be a step in the right direction. Let’s hope that Kansas and Missouri act soon to adopt similar laws to protect people’s digital assets. Non-Delaware residents with Delaware trusts, corporations, or LLCs could potentially use the Act for their benefit. For more on digital estate planning, see these earlier KC Estate Planner blog posts.

My law firmJohnson Law KC LLC, is experienced counseling clients on all aspects of digital and traditional estate planning and asset protection, and can help you answer these questions and more with confidence and friendly expertise. If we can serve you or your family with these sensitive matters, please call (913-707-9220) or email us (steve@johnsonlawkc.com) to schedule a free, convenient consultation.

(c) 2014, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.