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How To Set Up Power of Attorney in Kansas

How To Set Up Power of Attorney in Kansas

A man and a woman sign power of attorney documents on a wooden table.

Power of attorney is an essential legal tool that allows someone to make decisions on behalf of another person in case of their incapacitation. It is a crucial process that helps ensure that all financial and medical obligations are taken care of in case of unforeseen accidents, illnesses, or other emergencies.

If you live in Kansas and want to ensure your financial and legal affairs are taken care of in the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself, setting up a power of attorney is an important step to take. Landmark National Bank is here to help you navigate the process and understand how to set up power of attorney in Kansas.

Step 1: Selecting an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact

The first step in learning how to create power of attorney in Kansas is to select an agent or attorney-in-fact. This individual will be entrusted with making decisions on your behalf. It is important to choose someone you trust implicitly and who is capable of handling the responsibilities that come with this role. The agent can be a family member, a close friend, or even a professional such as an attorney or financial advisor.

Step 2: Choosing the Appropriate Type of Power of Attorney

When handling estate planning in Kansas, there are different types of power of attorney to choose from, depending on your specific needs. The main options include:

General Power of Attorney (GPA)

This is the broadest form of POA. When you grant someone a GPA, you’re allowing them to act on your behalf in a wide range of matters. However, a GPA becomes void if you become incapacitated.

Durable Power of Attorney

As the name suggests, this POA is “durable,” so it remains effective even if the principal (the person granting the power) becomes incapacitated. A durable power of attorney in Kansas is useful for individuals who want to ensure their affairs are taken care of if they become unable to make decisions.

Limited or Special Power of Attorney

This type of financial power of attorney in Kansas allows the principal to grant specific powers to the agent for particular tasks, such as selling a property or managing a specific financial account. Once the task is completed or the specified time period expires, the limited POA becomes void.

Medical Power of Attorney

In Kansas, this is sometimes referred to as a Health Care Power of Attorney. This document empowers a trusted individual to make health care decisions for the principal including decisions about treatments, surgeries, and end-of-life care.

Springing Power of Attorney

Unlike other POAs that take effect immediately once signed, a Springing POA only “springs” into action under certain conditions, such as the principal’s incapacitation. It’s essential to define these conditions clearly in the document to prevent any misunderstandings or disputes.

Parental Power of Attorney

This is a special form of POA allowing parents to grant another adult temporary rights to make decisions concerning the care and custody of their minor child, usually when they’ll be away or are otherwise unable to perform parental duties.

While Landmark National Bank can help you learn more about the different types of power of attorney in Kansas, we are not legal professionals. Consider your unique circumstances and consult with an attorney to determine the most suitable type of power of attorney for your needs.

Step 3: Understanding the Legal Requirements

To ensure your power of attorney is valid and enforceable in Kansas, it must meet certain legal requirements. These include:

  • The power of attorney document must be in writing.
  • You must sign the document in the presence of a notary public or two witnesses who are not related to you and do not stand to benefit from the power of attorney.
  • The agent or attorney-in-fact must also sign the document, acknowledging their responsibilities and powers.

Adhering to these legal requirements is crucial to ensuring the validity of your power of attorney.

Step 4: Knowing Limitations and Responsibilities of the Agent or Attorney-in-Fact

The agent or attorney-in-fact has limitations and responsibilities outlined by Kansas law. They must act in your best interests, avoid conflicts of interest, keep accurate records of all transactions, and make decisions according to your wishes as stated in the document.

Understanding these limitations and responsibilities will help you select the right person for the role and ensure they fulfill their duties. Additionally, you must understand the power of attorney costs in Kansas, which will play a major role in your decision.

Navigate the Legal Process With a Bank That’s on Your Side

When setting up a power of attorney, your best bet is to seek professional advice from expert attorneys and financial advisors. Landmark National Bank can help ensure that your accounts are established according to your directives, so you’ll be prepared for any situation that may arise.

Find the closest Landmark National Bank location to you to get started today! You can also give us a call to speak with a financial professional.

Do You Need a Beneficiary on Your Checking Account?

Do You Need a Beneficiary on Your Checking Account?

An older couple looks over their financial documents with a calculator.

Navigating the complexities of financial planning can be quite stressful, especially when considering the fate of your assets after you’re gone. One critical question you may face is whether or not to assign a beneficiary to your checking account. This decision has major implications for how your assets will be managed and disbursed in the future.

This may seem like a lot to handle at first, but Landmark National Bank is here to help you understand it all. In this blog, we’ll look into what it means to have a beneficiary and explore some of the pros and cons of choosing to designate one. Whether you’re in the early planning stages or revisiting your choices, this guide can help you manage your financial legacy.

What Is a Beneficiary?

When it comes to managing your finances and planning for the future, you may have encountered the term “beneficiary.” But what does it really mean?

In its simplest form, a beneficiary refers to an individual or entity that is designated to receive the assets and funds held in your checking account upon your passing. Whether it’s a family member, a close friend, or even a charitable organization, the selection of a checking account beneficiary gives you peace of mind knowing that your financial legacy will be handled responsibly and in accordance with your intentions.

Benefits of Having a Beneficiary

Having a designated beneficiary for your checking account can provide several important benefits. One of the top benefits of having a beneficiary on a checking account is that it ensures a seamless transfer of funds to your chosen individuals or organizations. Another key advantage is privacy. Unlike probate, which is a public process, the transfer of assets to a designated beneficiary can be kept private. This means your financial matters remain confidential and not subject to public scrutiny.

Reasons Not To Have a Beneficiary

While there are many advantages to having a designated beneficiary, there may be situations where it might not be necessary. For example, if you have a joint checking account with your spouse, the funds would typically pass directly to them upon your passing. In this case, designating a separate beneficiary may not be necessary.

Additionally, if you do not have any specific individuals or causes in mind to leave your funds to, you may choose not to designate a beneficiary. Instead, you can opt to leave your assets to a charity or your estate, where they can be distributed according to your will or trust.

What Happens If I Don’t Have a Beneficiary?

Without a designated beneficiary, the fate of your assets and funds can be uncertain. In the event of your passing, the distribution of your funds may be subject to lengthy legal processes and disputes among family members or other interested parties. This can lead to delays and extra expenses, causing unnecessary stress for your loved ones during an already difficult time. Before you make any decisions, it’s crucial to consult with an estate planning professional to fully understand the implications of not having a designated beneficiary.

Get Expert Advice From Landmark National Bank

Designating a beneficiary for your checking account is just one aspect of creating a comprehensive estate plan. Estate planning involves considering all your assets, including property, investments, and other financial accounts, and determining how you want them to be handled after your passing. To create an estate plan that includes a beneficiary designation for your checking account, it’s advisable to seek guidance from legal professionals.

Our Landmark National Bank  team can assist you in understanding the requirements for bank accounts and help you set up your accounts according to your written estate plan. If you have questions about setting up a beneficiary or creating a right of survivorship, Find a Landmark National Bank branch near you to get started or give us a call to speak with a banking expert.

Why You Should Create a Right of Survivorship

Why You Should Create a Right of Survivorship

Elderly couple looks over forms with an estate planner

When planning your estate, it’s crucial to consider all potential tools and strategies to best protect your assets and ensure they’re distributed according to your wishes. One of these tools is the right of survivorship, a legal concept that can provide significant benefits to your beneficiaries.

Throughout this blog, we’ll break down what exactly a right of survivorship is, the different types of a right of survivorship, its benefits, and how to set one up.

What Is a Right of Survivorship?

The right of survivorship is a provision that can be included in your ownership agreement of a property or other assets. This states that if one owner passes away, their share of the property automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s). This process bypasses the probate court, making the transition smoother and faster for your loved ones during a difficult time.

An older couple smiles while sitting across from a financial advisor with an open laptop in front of them

Types of Right of Survivorship

Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship

The more popular type of right of survivorship, joint tenancy with right of survivorship (JTWROS), provides a survivorship right to the surviving joint tenants. In this arrangement, the property is equally owned by two or more individuals, and upon the death of one tenant, the property immediately passes on to the surviving tenant(s).

This happens irrespective of any provisions made in the deceased tenant’s will. The right of survivorship bypasses probate, the legal process that may otherwise delay the distribution of the deceased’s assets, making it a popular choice for couples and closely-knit family members.

Tenancy by the Entirety With Right of Survivorship

A less common way of setting up a right of survivorship is by tenancy by the entirety. This arrangement is intended for married couples, where each spouse has an equal interest in the property, and they can’t sell, lease, or will their interest without the consent of the other.

This type of ownership structure can be beneficial for married couples who wish to retain control over their property if one spouse dies. Kansas does not recognize tenancy by the entirety, but many states do, including Missouri, Oklahoma, and Illinois.

Tenancy in Common

In a tenancy in common arrangement, each tenant or co-owner has an undivided, equal interest in the property, and they can sell, lease, or will their interest without the consent of the other tenants. This option is most popular amongst non-married individuals who jointly own a property, such as business partners or family members.

Crucially, upon the death of one tenant, their ownership interest is not transferred to the remaining tenants. Instead, it becomes part of their estate and is distributed according to their will or, in the absence of a will, according to the laws of intestacy. Consequently, this type of ownership structure can be beneficial for those who wish to have control over the disposition of their property after death.

Benefits of a Right of Survivorship

A right of survivorship has distinct benefits to those estate planning, including:

  • Smooth, automatic transfer of property upon death to surviving tenants.
  • Bypasses the often time-consuming and costly probate process.
  • Can preserve family property by ensuring it remains within the family unit.
  • Can serve as a mechanism for reducing potential inheritance tax liability, as the value of the deceased’s estate may be significantly reduced.

How To Set Up a Right of Survivorship for Your Property

Individual signs deed to home while an executive hands over the keys

Typically, a right of survivorship is drafted as supplementary to a deed. If you already jointly own a property with one or more other parties, you’ll want to draft a new deed where you denote the other co-owning tenants as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS). This ensures equal shares to each tenant upon your or another owner’s death. JTWROS is a great option for business partners, family members, and other cohabitating persons.

You can also move to set up a right of survivorship with tenancy by the entirety—an option primarily meant for married couples. This agreement will differ from JTWROS, as one spouse cannot sell their interest or share of the property without the other spouse’s permission.

Set Up Right of Survivorship at Landmark National Bank

The estate planning process is incredibly important but can be complicated and stressful. It is important that you consult with a professional legal advisor to determine how you want your assets to be distributed.  One your estate plan is complete, our Landmark National Bank associates can assist in making sure your accounts are set up according to your written plan.

For help with properly setting up your bank accounts, feel free to fill out an online contact form. You can also call or visit one of our many branch locations, where you’ll find banking experts happy to help you.