Do I Need a Trust if I Own Out of State Real Estate?

At WM Law, we like to use the KISS principle when it comes to developing estate plans. That is, we like to set up an estate plan in the simplest form that can achieve the goals of our clients.  Consequently, most of the estate plans that I create don’t include a trust.  I have set up plenty of trusts, of course, but I have found that most people don’t actually need trust.  I feel that trusts add unnecessary complexity to an estate plan if they are not needed, plus, even more concerning, they create a false sense of security.  If I can create an estate plan without a trust that still accomplishes the client’s goals, that’s what we do.

The recommendation to forego a trust oftentimes surprises people. One of the most common concerns I hear is that the client owns real estate in another state, oftentimes a vacation home. They have heard that if you own a property in another state, then that property requires a trust.  Sometimes, that is exactly the case, but that is due to the laws of the […]

By | February 3rd, 2022|0 Comments

¿Necesito un fideicomiso si soy dueño de bienes raíces fuera del estado?

En WM Law, nos gusta usar el principio KISS cuando se trata de desarrollar planes patrimoniales. Es decir, nos gusta establecer un plan patrimonial de la forma más sencilla que pueda lograr los objetivos de nuestros clientes. En consecuencia, la mayoría de los planes patrimoniales que realizo no incluyen un fideicomiso. He establecido muchos fideicomisos, por supuesto, pero he descubierto que la mayoría de las personas en realidad no necesitan un fideicomiso. Siento que los fideicomisos agregan una complejidad innecesaria a un plan patrimonial si no son necesarios y, lo que es aún más preocupante, crean una falsa sensación de seguridad. Si puedo crear un plan patrimonial sin un fideicomiso que aún cumpla con los objetivos del cliente, eso es lo que hacemos.

La recomendación de renunciar a un fideicomiso a menudo sorprende a la gente. Una de las preocupaciones más comunes que escucho es que el cliente posee bienes raíces en otro estado, a menudo una casa de vacaciones. Han escuchado que si posee bienes raíces en otro estado, entonces esos bienes inmuebles requieren un fideicomiso. A veces, ese es exactamente el caso, pero eso se debe a las leyes del estado donde se encuentra el inmueble, no solo porque […]

By | February 3rd, 2022|0 Comments

A Little Bit of Preparation Goes a Long Way

No one really likes to think about what will happen when they finally pass away. However, a little bit of planning and preparation can help your family out immensely. One of the ways to make that inevitable day easier on your loved ones is to set up an estate plan. But, estate planning may seem daunting and bring up a lot of questions. What is estate planning exactly? What if I don’t have anything to give to my family? How is my family supposed to know what my final wishes and arrangements are? How will minors in my family be treated? What will happen to my prized collection of Kansas City Chiefs memorabilia? The questions can seem endless. […]

By | November 23rd, 2021|0 Comments

Planificación patrimonial para nuevos padres o futuros padres

Si recientemente se han convertido en padres primerizos o en futuros padres, probablemente lo último que tenga en mente sea la planificación patrimonial. Después de todo, eres joven, probablemente saludable y toda tu energía está enfocada en ese nuevo bebé. ¿Por qué diablos debería preocuparse por preparar un plan de sucesión ahora? Eso es algo con lo que sus padres o los padres de sus padres tienen que lidiar, ¿verdad?

De alguna manera, la planificación patrimonial es más vital para una pareja joven que para una pareja mayor. Por primera vez en su vida, tiene o pronto tendrá un ser humano completamente indefenso que depende totalmente de usted para su cuidado. ¿Y qué pasa si algo te sucede a ti, a tu pareja o a ambos?

Responsabilidad financiera de los nuevos padres o futuros padres

Hay que pensar en la responsabilidad financiera de los nuevos padres o futuros padres; por ejemplo, el determinar y obtener una cantidad adecuada de seguro de vida. Ahorrar para esa inevitable educación universitaria. Eso es algo en lo que un planificador financiero puede ayudarlo, y es igualmente importante. Sin embargo, la planificación patrimonial se ocupa del aspecto legal de mantener a su hijo, como una tutela. ¿Ha pensado […]

By | October 15th, 2021|0 Comments

Estate Planning for New Parents or Parents-to-Be

If you have recently become new parents or parents-to-be, the last thing on your mind is probably doing estate planning.  After all, you’re young, probably healthy, and all of your energy is focused on that new baby.  Why in the world should you worry about preparing an estate plan now – that’s something your parents or your parents’ parents have to deal with, right?

In some ways, estate planning is more vital to a young couple than it is to an older couple.  For the first time in your life, you have or soon will have a completely helpless human being who is totally dependent upon you for his or her care.  And what happens if something happens to you or your significant other or both?

Financial Responsibility of New Parents or Parents-to-Be

There are the financial aspects to address as new parents or parents-to-be, such as determining and obtaining an appropriate amount of life insurance.  And saving for that inevitable college education.  That’s something a financial planner can assist you with, and it is equally important.  But, estate planning deals with the legal […]

By | October 15th, 2021|0 Comments

Holiday Time is “Let’s Talk” Time

The holidays are upon us yet again.  Every year at this time, it is tradition that I pester you about visiting with your family about your plans and wishes in the event you pass away.  Although it may kill the holiday mood a bit to talk about your passing, it is very important that you do so.  There are likely 2 or 3 people very close to you that you envision “handling things” upon your incapacity or passing.  Those are the folks that you need to sit down with over a pint of beer or glass of wine and just let them know your thoughts.


As I mentioned, it is a bit of a mood killer, but you may find it is comforting to both you and your loved ones to do so.  Letting them know your wishes means that they aren’t guessing (and getting it WRONG!) when the time comes that something happens to you.  It will lessen the likelihood that your family will fight about issues after your incapacity or passing because you won’t have to guess about what “Mom” or “Dad” wanted.  If Mom and/or Dad just sat down and went over his or her wishes, there won’t […]

By | November 25th, 2020|0 Comments

Beneficiary Deeds


I’ll start with a blanket statement:  everybody who owns real estate in either Kansas or Missouri should have a beneficiary deed on file for that real estate, assuming it is not already placed in a trust.  But, time and again, I see folks who pass away without having filed that simple, cheap and easy form with the county.  A simple beneficiary deed can mean the difference between a quick and easy transition of your property to your heirs versus a long, drawn-out, expensive probate procedure.

A beneficiary deed is also known as a “transfer on death” deed.  It allows your real estate to transfer automatically upon your death to whoever you name in that deed.  You still own the property when you file a beneficiary deed on your real estate.  You retain full control over it.  You can mortgage the property, you can sell the property, you can do whatever you want with it – the beneficiary does not restrict your ownership of the property at all.  If you get angry with the person you’ve named in the beneficiary deed to get your property, no problem – you can revoke that deed at any time you’d like.  You can change the […]

By | September 30th, 2020|0 Comments

Escrituras Beneficiarias

Comenzaré con una declaración general: todos los propietarios de bienes raíces en Kansas o Missouri deben tener una escritura de beneficiario archivada para esos bienes raíces, suponiendo que no estén ya depositados en un fideicomiso. Pero, una y otra vez, veo personas que fallecen sin haber presentado ese formulario simple, barato y fácil en el condado. Una simple escritura del beneficiario puede significar la diferencia entre una transición rápida y fácil de su propiedad a sus herederos versus un procedimiento de sucesión largo, prolongado y costoso.

Una escritura de beneficiario también se conoce como una escritura de “transferencia en caso de fallecimiento”. Permite que su propiedad inmobiliaria se transfiera automáticamente después de su muerte a quien sea que nombre en esa escritura. Aún es dueño de la propiedad cuando presenta una escritura de beneficiario sobre su propiedad inmobiliaria. Usted mantiene el control total sobre la propiedad.. Puede hipotecar la propiedad, puede vender la propiedad, puede hacer lo que quiera con ella; el beneficiario no restringe su propiedad de los bienes en absoluto. Si se enoja con la persona que ha nombrado en la escritura del beneficiario para obtener su propiedad, no hay problema; puede revocar esa escritura en cualquier momento que […]

By | September 30th, 2020|0 Comments

Dealing with a relative who died without a will


By Jeff Wagoner, W M Law President

One of the most considerate things you can do for your family is to make certain that you have an up-to-date estate plan, even if you are in perfectly good health.  It saves a tremendous amount of cost and stress and even heartache to have your affairs in order in the event you pass away unexpectedly.  This blog is written for those people who have unfortunately had a loved one pass away recently, and to make matter worse, that loved one did not have an estate plan.  If you are the person who has the responsibility of wrapping up that loved one’s estate, you are likely feeling overwhelmed at the moment.  You are probably feeling a little nervous as well, especially if there are other family members who are depending upon you to liquidate the estate and share the proceeds with them.  If not done properly, you could even find yourself dragged into court to answer as to what happened to the decedent’s property.

Many times, there are rumors that a deceased family member had assets worth far more than they actually were.  For example, a family member who always lived in a nice house […]

By | September 24th, 2019|0 Comments

Beneficiary Deeds

By Jeff Wagoner, W M Law President

The main reason to have a revocable trust is to avoid probate.  But, did you know that many, actually probably “most”, people don’t really need a revocable trust if their family situation is relatively simple and they make good use of “non-probate transfer mechanisms.”

A non-probate transfer mechanism is simply a way to change the title on a piece of property without getting an order of the probate court.  A simple example is using a “Payable on Death” designation on your checking account.  If you have listed someone as a “Payable on Death” (aka “POD”) beneficiary on your checking account, then the bank will automatically give the money in that account to your POD beneficiary once that person presents your death certificate to the bank.

It is super simple – no need for lawyers or courts.  A great tool for transferring real estate that is just as simple is known as a “Beneficiary Deed.”  A Beneficiary Deed is essentially just like a POD designation on a bank account, with the exception that it is for real estate.  It is a little more complicated because you’ll want an attorney to draft that Beneficiary Deed for you, and […]

By | April 16th, 2019|0 Comments