By Jeff Wagoner
W M Law President
Estate Planning in Kansas City is complicated somewhat by the Kansas/Missouri border that runs through our metropolitan area. At WM Law, we are licensed in both Kansas and Missouri and represent both Kansas and Missouri clients (even though sometimes we have to keep those Tigers and Jayhawks and Wildcats separated in the waiting room!).
One big difference in estate planning stems from the types of real estate ownership available in the two states. Both Kansas and Missouri offer tenancy in common and joint tenancy with the right of survivorship. However, only Missouri offers tenancy by the entireties. Tenancy by the entireties is only offered in about 20 states and that type of tenancy varies significantly among those states. Tenancy by the entireties is an old, rather odd concept in real estate ownership that dates back to the middle ages. Back then, when a man took a wife, the wife came with a “dowry” – maybe a cow, 5 pigs, and some chickens. Now, if the man was down at the local pub one night and got to gambling, he might incur a gambling debt that the winner would try to collect by coming to the homestead […]