Think You Don’t Need an Estate Plan? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions First…

The word “estate” sounds much more aristocratic than it is. If you’re envisioning mansions and Rolls Royces and retirement accounts filled with millions of dollars, well, yes…that is an estate. However, so is your home, your car, the money in your bank account, or even your collection of 1st edition comic books, your dog, or the china set that was passed down from your great, great grandparents. Yes, all of those things we just mentioned are part of your “estate.” […]

do i really need an estate plan

The Little Red Wagon

When you were a child, you toted your prized possessions around with you wherever you went. Your little red Radio Flyer traveled with you around the yard and neighborhood. Packed with as many toys, sand box tools, dolls, and Army men as you could fit, ready for you to use at any time or maybe just keep away from your little brother or sister. Years pass, and our prized possessions increase in size and value. We still want to protect [...]

Life Stages and Estate Planning

When should you consider visiting with an estate planning attorney? When you reach the age of 18! Having proper legal documents in place can make transitions in life easier for you and your loved ones in the event of illness, injury or death. Consider hiring an estate planning firm that offers a client maintenance program. This will help make sure your documents stay up to date throughout all your life stages.  Which stage are you at now? Young, single and [...]

Understanding the Components of Estate Planning

Most people believe that having a proper estate plan in place is important to ensure that they and their families are taken care of. According to’s 2019 survey, 76 percent of respondents believe that having a will is important, but only 40 percent of the respondents actually have one. Therefore, it is likely that many of your clients believe that proper planning is important but they may not have the right legal documents—or any at all—in place. Working together, [...]

Why, Aretha?!

Aretha Franklin Died Without an Estate Plan  Dear Reader,     The “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, is known and loved around the world, and there are millions that can sing along when her famous anthems “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” and “A Natural Woman” play. Countless men and women look to her as a role model of unprecedented musical talent as well as an influential voice in the civil rights era.     As an estate planning attorney, I was surprised when it was disclosed […]

Newly Wealthy Clients

Dear Reader,       There is a new generation of high net worth clients emerging, and the advice we give to these nouveau riche is quite different from the advice we would render to our seasoned clients. In fact, much of this instruction was given to our established clients a couple of decades ago – and it has played a leading role in their current prosperity. One of our primary objectives at the firm is to play the long game – plan […]

Could the new Tax Act impact your estate?

4000 S. Range Line Road Joplin, MO 64804  417.623.2062 | Email Us STAY CONNECTED           Dear Friend,    On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law. The new law makes modifications to the income and estate tax system. Allowed exemptions from federal estate tax: 2017 – $5.49 million for individuals 2018 – $11.2 million for individuals, $22.4 million for married couples    These exemptions are tied to the lifetime gift tax and generation-skipping transfer tax as […]