Estate Planning

Areas of Practice

About Estate Planning

Planning for life’s inevitability is the right thing to do. You don’t want your family to have to guess about your wishes or, worse, have your assets go to the wrong people. Most people know an estate plan addresses what happens to their family and property upon death. But did you know it also puts a plan in place for health care and financial decisions in the event of incapacity while you’re still alive? Because we can’t predict when we will die or become ill, having an estate plan benefits everyone at all stages of life. If you don’t have an estate plan, state laws and courts decide who gets your assets when you pass and who can make health care or financial decisions on your behalf while you’re alive but incapacitated.

Planning becomes more important in our later years because of the increasing potential for health issues. It ensures you have control over your quality of life, your home and valuables, how you age, and your level of privacy. It gives you and your family peace of mind when you have passed. A proper estate plan carries out specific wishes, provides optimal tax avoidance, and makes things easier for your family during difficult times.

Living Revocable Trust

Asset Protection Planning


Powers of Attorney

Advanced Health Care Directives

Online Workshops

Estate Planning Documents


The most basic estate planning tool, a will names an executor who manages your estate, pays debts, and distributes the assets and property as specified in the will. It also addresses beneficiaries, guardians for minor children, grandchildren, or caretaking for elderly family members—it is as broad or detailed as you need. Spell out what should happen in the event of your incapacitation, end-of-life decisions, and funeral and burial plans. For the provisions of your will to control, the will must go through probate, which adds time and expense to an already stressful period in your loved ones’ lives.


A trust is beneficial in many of the same ways as a will but is the ultimate probate avoider. While a will must pass through probate, your trust is still “alive” and your successor trustee can transfer your assets pursuant to your instructions. Property is still distributed at death, but it’s done without the need for court intervention which offers more family privacy.

You may feel you don’t have the assets for a trust, but having a trust is less about the money and more about the complex needs of your family. You may have minor children, children from prior marriages, children who have difficulty with money, or a child with special needs. If you own a home or other real property also adds complexity to your estate plan. You want the transfer of your gifts to beneficiaries to be fair, clear, and made without unnecessary cost and delay.

                     · A revocable living trust is one of the most common types of trusts. The person who creates and funds the trust is known as the grantor and usually acts as the trustee during their lifetime. The grantor may undo the trust, change its terms, and move property and assets in and out of the trust’s ownership at any time. A revocable living trust can switch to an irrevocable trust upon death.

                     · An irrevocable trust is commonly used for asset protection planning and is deliberately difficult to change. The trust grantor, you, or someone else, funds the irrevocable trust with property and assets, usually controlled by another individual named as trustee. Control is relinquished in return for unique tax implications and other benefits, including protecting a person’s home and savings from the high costs of long-term care.

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney gives a trusted person the authority to act on financial matters on your behalf. The financial power of attorney stays in effect as long as you are unable to handle your affairs. With a financial power of attorney in place, the stress of guardianship proceedings can be avoided.

Health Care Powers

Health care powers outline a person’s spoken and written instructions about future medical care and treatment. Written documents typically included:

· Health care power of attorney

· Living will

· HIPAA release form

In a medical emergency, when you are unable to express your wishes, health care powers take the stress of making difficult decisions off family members during emotional times. Your wishes will be clearly understood by family members and medical professionals.

Probate, Estate, and Trust Administration

When your loved one dies, leaving you as the executor of a will (personal representative) or trustee of a trust, you are responsible for administration of the estate or trust. For many, this is an unfamiliar process with many deadlines and actions that can feel overwhelming.

To combat confusion, Ellis Law Office, LLC can help you understand and manage your role as personal representative or trustee so you can carry out the wishes of the decedent as written in their will or trust.

At Ellis Law Office, LLC, our focus includes estate planning and elder law services, including long term care Medicaid planning and probate & trust administration. We can work remotely or come to the homes of our senior clients with mobility issues. 

Our firm also practices business law to support the legal needs of small businesses and corporations, including business formation, general counsel services such as human resources, contracts, and both continuity and succession planning.

We serve clients through either of our offices: Leawood (913) 386-8135 and Spring Hill (913) 592-2029.

Send us a message using the form below, call, or use the convenient link above to schedule your consultation. Consultations are always at no cost, so book yours today.

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