Estate Planning

Estate Planning Intro

Estate Planning Attorney, Wichita, KS

Skillfully Arranging for the Future

Estate planning touches on many difficult personal issues. The skilled estate planning attorneys at Bever Dye, LC, Attorneys At Law in Wichita, Kansas, recognize this. Our firm offers broad and exceptional estate planning services tailored to accomplish your personal and family goals. As estate planning attorneys, we ease the management of your financial affairs and help you minimize tax burdens.

Areas of Expertise

Bever Dye, LC provides comprehensive estate planning services and counseling for estates of all sizes and types — small to large, simple to sophisticated. Combined with our extensive skills in taxation and business, you can rely on our competence in estate planning.

Estate Planning Solid Estate Plan

Developing a Solid Estate Plan

We are more than just estate planning attorneys; we are trusted advisors, providing knowledge and guidance that ensures confidence in the future. Our attorneys combine extensive experience, a track record of excellence and exceptional research capabilities to create sound estate plans customized for your individual needs. From your initial meeting with us and through the years that follow, our legal acumen alleviates anxiety and inspires certainty that your needs and those of your family are accounted for.

Estate Planning Safeguarding Assets

Safeguarding Assets

Planning for the future of your estate is a sensible decision for adults of any age. Deciding ahead of time what will happen to your assets is the best way to protect yourself and your family and help ensure that your wishes are honored. There are many options available to protect all the important aspects of your life.

How We Help

Our estate planning attorneys work closely with you to identify the important facets of your life. We offer an estate planning questionnaire that helps us understand your objectives and create a thorough plan for your future. Our goal is to protect the things you have worked hard for now so that they are there for you and your family in the future. At Bever Dye, LC, we cover all aspects of estate planning, including the following common issues:

Wills Learn More
Trust administration Learn More
Revocable trusts
Irrevocable trusts
Lifetime tax planning
Business planning Learn More
Post-mortem income tax planning
HIPPA release
Powers of attorney
Advance directives
Succession planning Learn More
Transfer tax minimization
Lifetime gift programs
Charitable giving alternatives
Prenuptial agreements
Living wills
Retirement/employee benefit planning

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Last Will and Testament?

    A Last Will and Testament is a written legal document stating how an individual’s property is to be distributed after his or her death. Kansas law requires that for a will to be valid, it must be formally executed as required by state law, and the individual executing the will must be at least 18 years of age and have legal capacity.

  • Can a person change his or her Last Will and Testament?

    An individual may change his or her Last Will and Testament, making either additions or deletions to his or her existing will by a codicil. A codicil is a document, also executed in the same manner as a will, noting the changes to the individual’s Last Will and Testament. Alterations to an existing will, such as crossing out language or adding a new provision, do not meet the legal requirements for executing a valid will, and therefore, will not result in a successful modification of the will. Further, crossing out the language and inserting new language may subject the individual’s Last Will and Testament to uncertainty as to whether it remains valid.

  • Are there any limits on a Last Will and Testament?

    A Last Will and Testament will not override a beneficiary designation on a retirement plan, life insurance policy or property which you hold as joint tenants with rights of survivorship and not as tenants in common.

  • What are the typical documents that make up my estate planning?

    Each client’s situation is unique, but generally, a client that has estate-planning documents will have a Last Will and Testament, a General Durable Power of Attorney, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions and a Declaration (or Living Will). Many individuals will also have a revocable trust. If an individual has a revocable trust, then their Last Will and Testament is a pour-over will or a short will that transfers any property to the revocable trust that is not otherwise titled in the name of the trust or that passes by operation of law. In addition, we will review the title to other assets the individual owns — such as title to real estate and beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies and annuities. A thorough examination of the client’s assets, including how such assets are titled and how they would like to have their assets distributed at their death, allows the individual to be assured that their property will pass to their loved ones in the most efficient manner with the least amount of tax.

  • What is a revocable trust?

    A revocable trust (sometimes referred to as a living trust) often serves the same purpose as a Last Will and Testament. The revocable trust contains instructions about distributions of the assets during the individual’s lifetime and how property will be distributed at the individual’s death. As the name implies, a revocable trust is one that can be changed and in which you may add assets to the trust or take assets from the trust. If you establish a revocable trust, we will also prepare a pour-over will or a short will that simply transfers any property to the revocable trust that is not otherwise titled in the name of the trust or that passes by operation of law.

  • If I am married, can my spouse and I have one revocable trust, or do we each need our own revocable trust?

    If a married couple has total assets (including the death benefit on life insurance and retirement account values) that are unlikely to exceed the federal estate tax exemption amount, in most instances, they can have one revocable trust. If a married couple has assets that could possibly exceed the federal estate tax exemption amount, then our lawyers recommend that each spouse have his or her own revocable trust and pour-over will. Each individual situation is unique, and depending on your situation, we will make specific recommendations.

  • If I have a revocable trust, will it permit me to avoid probate at my death?

    If your assets are titled in the name of your revocable trust, held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship or have beneficiary designations (such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts), then you generally can avoid probate of your estate at the time that you pass away. We can advise you on the manner in which you should hold assets, in a revocable trust or otherwise, so that it best suits your needs and will permit you to avoid probate if you desire.

  • Are there advantages to estate planning other than making certain that my property passes to whom I would like at the time I pass away?

    Although estate planning allows an individual to direct how his or her property will be distributed at the time of their death, it also includes a number of other aspects. For example, an important goal of estate planning is to protect the assets and the income from claims of any creditors of a beneficiary. This can be done by establishing a trust for the benefit of an individual, rather than distributing property outright to that individual. In addition, an individual can name who will be the guardian or conservator of minor children in the event both the husband and wife pass away. For elderly individuals, they can address who will provide for their needs in the event they become incapacitated and it is necessary to appoint a guardian and/or a conservator. Also, proper estate planning will allow individuals to minimize or eliminate federal and estate death taxes that may be imposed on their estate. These are just a few of the many advantages that are gained by proper estate planning.

  • What is a General Durable Power of Attorney?

    A General Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you (the principal) designate one or more individuals (the agent or attorney in fact) to act on your behalf. A General Durable Power of Attorney may either be effective immediately or may come into effect upon a certain event, such as your disability. Your agent is able to act on your behalf in circumstances where you are not legally able to act. A General Durable Power of Attorney will continue in effect if you, as the principal, become mentally incapacitated.

  • What is a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions?

    Kansas law provides that you may establish a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions in which you authorize one or more individuals to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are not able to make that decision for yourself. It also provides that the individual that you appoint may arrange for funeral services for you in the event it is necessary.

  • What is a Declaration (Living Will)?

    A Declaration or Living Will is a written statement of your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event you are faced with a terminal medical condition. This document can be used by your doctors and your agent for health care decisions to make difficult decisions regarding life support, tube feeding and similar medical treatments.

Estate Planning Attorneys

Eric J. Larson, JD, CPA

Of Counsel Attorney

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Robert M. Hughes, JD, LLM

Attorney / Member

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Jeffrey D. Arbuckle, JD, CPA

Of Counsel Attorney

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Amanda R. Walker, JD, CPA

Attorney / Member

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Adrien M. Piercy, JD

Associate Attorney

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R. Chris Robe, JD, CPA

Attorney of Counsel

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Hellen L. Haag, JD, LLM

Attorney / Member

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Tara A. Mollhagen Shepherd, JD, CPA

Associate Attorney

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Brian A. Turney, JD

Attorney / Member

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Request a Consultation

The estate planning attorneys of Bever Dye, LC offer broad and exceptional estate planning services tailored to accomplish your personal and family goals. Contact us at (316) 263-8294 or complete an online form to request a consultation.

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