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Liens, Liens and More Liens

By Doug Sisson, Probate and Bankruptcy Paralegal
Liens survive virtually everyone and everything until released by a creditor. Countless folks in Kansas and Missouri have consulted with W M Law after inheriting real estate and other large assets.
One of the biggest and least expected issues can be a lien against real property the heirs may not even be aware of until it is too late.
If a loved one received any sort of medical benefits from a government or private entity, chances are they are not only owed money, but have attached a lien to property either before or after death.
The most common debts liens include: Medicare/Medicaid benefits, assisted living or nursing home care, unpaid taxes, unpaid insurance benefits, and even old judgment liens stemming from a lawsuit less than 10 years ago. There are many options to satisfy or waive these liens, however they are not going anywhere unless you are aware of them and address them appropriately.
–          If you are named as transfer on death or assigned a property from an estate, you are then liable for any debts associated with liens on the property. This is quite literally inheriting a debt.
–          In Missouri and Kansas, a lien typically lasts 10 years, […]

By | June 29th, 2018|0 Comments

Importance of Guardianship Decisions Prior to Leaving for Vacation

By Ana Ballesteros, W M Law Paralegal

With summer vacations starting, many of us are starting to plan or getting ready to leave for a family vacation. Whether the vacation is going to visit family or out to a different destination it is important to plan for the worst case scenario. What would happen to our dependents if something were to happen to us?

We do not like to think of such things but it is never wrong to prepare for the worst. Normally, the Judge looks for an immediate family member such as the grandparents or an aunt or uncle, whoever is willing and able to take care of the children. But what if the parents want someone else to take care of the kids? What if the parents do not trust crazy uncle Joe or fear that grandma and grandpa are too old to care for the kids?

There is only so much we can prepare for. As parents, we can write a request for the Judge to assign a Guardian for our children. The Judge will review the request which will impact the decision as to who will care for the children. There are many factors that go into the […]

By | June 7th, 2018|0 Comments

Tres sugerencias clave para evitar conflictos en su proceso de planificación patrimonial

 

Por Doug Sisson, W M Law Paralegal

El cariño de los beneficiarios para uno con el otro puede esté  fuera de su control, en vida o en muerte. Con esto en mente, los siguientes consejos y consideraciones le ayudarán a evitar futuros litigios, o al menos minimizarlo para evitar que los altos honorarios de abogado que muchos no tienen en cuenta: como dijo Robert Frost – “la tarde sabe lo que nunca sospechó la mañana.”

  1. Planifique cuando usted esté bien de salud

Cuando usted se enferma, todos sus recursos mentales y físicos deben estar dedicados a mejorarlo, no a redactar un plan de sucesión.  Uno debe idear un plan de patrimonio y reflexionar sobre su dinámica familiar mientras usted está bien y de mente sana.  Si espera a que se enferme para redactar su plan, puede que esté mal redactado o que no se complete en absoluto.  Diseñar un plan mientras que usted está bien también aliviará la carga de los miembros de familia para que no tengan que conjeturar sus deseos finales o decisiones médicas.

  1. Busque asesoramiento jurídico independiente de calidad sin influencia indebida

Recursos online (como este blog) pueden ayudarle a darle una idea aproximada de lo que va a […]

By | May 25th, 2018|0 Comments

Fideicomisos de Medicaid ó Miller fideicomisos ó fideicomisos de ingresos calificativos

 

Cuando se trata de necesidades de atención médica, siempre tratamos de retrasar lo inevitable, prepararnos para nuestras necesidades futuras. El costo promedio de por mes para un centro de cuidado de ancianos es de aproximadamente $6.000 más visitas hospitalarias y gastos de medicamentos costosos.

La forma en que Medicaid trabaja es que ellos pueden ayudarle a pagar sus gastos, pero sólo si sus ingresos demuestran que usted no tiene suficiente dinero para pagar la atención que necesita. Entonces, ¿qué sucede cuando sus ingresos se califican pero su cónyuge también trabaja, y lo pone por encima del requisito de ingresos de Medicaid? ¿o qué sucede si sus ingresos se califican pero usted tiene su casa pagada y tal vez algunos activos adicionales como un ira/401 (k) o una casa de vacaciones?

Medicaid puede poner gravámenes en su propiedad después de que ya no necesite el programa de asistencia o que usted haya fallecido. La mala noticia es que si usted no toma medidas de protección, puede perder todos los bienes que usted adquirió trabajando duramente.  La buena noticia es que hay un instrumento especial que usted puede crear para proteger sus activos y asegurarse de que puedan pasarse  a su familia como usted […]

By | May 25th, 2018|0 Comments

Medicaid Trusts AKA Miller Trusts AKA Qualifying Income Trusts

By Ana Ballesteros, W M Law Paralegal

When it comes to healthcare needs, we always try to delay the inevitable, prepare for our future needs. The average cost of per month for an elderly care facility is about $6,000 plus hospital visits and expensive medicine costs.

The way Medicaid works is that they can help you pay for your expenses but only if your income shows that you do not have sufficient money to pay the care you need. So, what happens when your income qualifies but your spouse also works, and it puts you above Medicaid’s income requirement? Or what happens if your income qualifies but you have your house paid for and perhaps some additional assets like an IRA/401(k) or a vacation home?

Medicaid can put liens on your property after you no longer need the assistance program or have passed away. The bad news is that if you do not take protective measures, you can lose all the items you worked hard for. The good news is that there is a special trust that you can create to protect your assets and ensure they can be passes on to your family like you have always intended them to be, it […]

By | May 22nd, 2018|0 Comments

How Long Do I have to Submit a Will for Probate after a Family Member Passes Away?

If you are the responsible person for wrapping up the estate of a loved one who has passed away, there are some very important timelines to consider.  One of those applies when the loved one had a Last Will and Testament.  In those cases, you must act relatively quickly to open an estate and admit the will or else the Last Will and Testament will be invalid.  Each state has its own timeline.  Since we practice in Kansas and Missouri only, we’ll stick with those states.  In Missouri, you have one year after the decedent’s death to admit a will to probate.  On the Kansas side, though, that time limit is only 6 months.  If the will fails to be admitted within those time periods, that will becomes invalid.  At that point, the rules of intestate succession will determine who obtains the property of the estate.  So, if you are named or believe that you are named as a beneficiary of a will, it is in your best interests to ensure that the will is admitted to probate promptly after the death of your loved one, particularly if you are not a person or entity who would inherit via the […]

By | April 13th, 2018|0 Comments

Three Key Suggestions to Avoid Disputes in your Estate Planning Process

By Doug Sisson, W M Law Paralegal

Your beneficiaries’ fondness of one another may be out of your control, in life or death. With that in mind, the following tips and considerations will help you avoid future litigation, or at least minimize it to avoid that steep attorney bill many fail to account for:  “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” – Robert Frost

  1. Plan when you are healthy 

When you fall ill, all of you mental and physical resources should be devoted to getting better, not drafting an estate plan.  One should devise an estate plan and ponder their family dynamics while you are well and of sound mind.  If you wait until you fall ill to draft your plan, it may be poorly drafted, or may not be completed at all.  Devising a plan while you are well also relieving the burden from family members who may be left guessing your final wishes or medical decisions.

  1. Seek quality independent legal advice free from undue influence

Online resources (such as this blog) can aid in a rough idea of what you will need, but not much more than that.  DIY estate plans can also create a huge liability as they […]

By | March 14th, 2018|0 Comments

How to Use Estate Planning to Avoid a Guardianship Proceeding when an Elderly Parent is Involved

By Jeff Wagoner, W M Law President
Recently I had a potential client contact me about getting a guardianship for her mother whose mental state was beginning to deteriorate.  The daughter was concerned that her mother’s failing mental health would lead her to forget to pay the mortgage loan on her house or to pay the insurance or make other financial mistakes.  So, the daughter thought the best option was to obtain a guardianship over her mother.  But, a guardianship is a pretty drastic measure.  It involves a hearing to convince a judge that the guardianship is necessary.  It also requires annual reporting.  Sometimes a bond is required.  So, how can we avoid that?
In this case, the daughter was worried also because the mother was getting belligerent and uncooperative with her.  I recommended that while her mother is still mentally competent (so it needed to be done right away) that we should do a an estate plan, which includes a Financial Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Power of Attorney.  With these two documents, the daughter could accomplish nearly everything that a guardianship order would allow her to do.  With regard to the mother’s becoming belligerent, it is true that a […]

By | March 1st, 2018|0 Comments

Discussions With Family Prior to Estate Planning

By Ana Ballesteros, W M Law Paralegal

Estate Planning can be a difficult conversation to have with your love ones. People generally do not like to think about what would happen if a loved one were to pass away either suddenly or expectedly. What would happen to the house? The cars? How would the sentimental things get distributed? The purpose of an Estate Plan is not only to ensure that the transition moves as peaceful as possible without having any fights between siblings or step-family members but also to give you peace of mind that your wishes are being respected. Here the 5 things to talk about with your family when preparing for your Estate Plan.

How to plan your Estate Plan: The reason for an estate plan, is to ensure that your belongings do not go through probate. A death is already difficult, not to mention having to go through a legal process for your family to keep what already belongs to them, your legacy. Talk to them about what will need to be included and what you think is best to pass on right away. If you do not feel comfortable letting them know what each will get, you do […]

By | February 22nd, 2018|0 Comments

Two Misconceptions about Estate Plans

By Doug Sisson, W M Law Paralegal

Misconception #1 – Estate Planning is only for old people

Accidents happen, unless you are immortal…  A living trust is an important tool to safeguard a single person or family of any age.  Think of a trust as your “invisible buddy” that can speak for you when you are unable to. A living trust not only guards your assets, it guides your loved ones and keeps them from guessing as to your intentions. Another valuable tool is managing money should you leave your estate to a young person or even a minor child. With a trust you can appoint a person to manage the trust until your children (or grandchildren) are of an age you decide.

Misconception #2 – Estate Plans are for the Ultra Wealthy 1% of the Population

If you own property, you need an estate plan. A Revocable “Living” Trust is a very versatile tool to help divide and protect your assets and leave instructions for your own healthcare as well as others. A living trust can benefit you in many of the following ways:

  • Avoiding Probate: Probate litigation is a costly and lengthy process your loved ones will want to avoid.
  • Avoiding Taxes: A […]
By | January 30th, 2018|0 Comments