Your Money Matter$ 
By Steve Bell 
 
Everyone has an estate, rich or poor, it doesn’t matter.  When you die, you leave behind an estate.  For some, this can mean property, cash, securities, retirement accounts and more.  For others it could be as simple as the $10 bill in their wallet and the clothes on their back.  Either way, what you leave behind when you die is considered to be your “estate”. 
 
Why plan?  Well, even if you’re just leaving behind that $10 bill in your wallet, who will inherit it?  Do you have a spouse? Children? Is it theirs? Should it go to just one of them, or be split between them?  This (quite simply) is what estate planning is all about.  Estate planning determines how our money and assets (property – both real and personal) will be distributed after your lifetime. 
 
Making a will is the single most important thing you can do to make sure that your children would be cared for by the people you would choose if anything should happen to you. In your will you can designate a person (guardian) to care for your children before they become legal adults. You should also designate a trustee to manage your asset until your children would reach specific events. You can appoint one person to act as both trustee and guardian, or choose two people to carry out the separate duties. 
 
What happens if I die without a will?  Without a will, there’s no guarantee that when you die your money will go to the people you want or that your children will be cared for by the person you believe will do the best job. 
 
Without a valid will, Kansas law requires that your property be divided according to a fairly inflexible formula.  In Kansas your spouse, if you have one, would receive only about one-third of your estate, the rest would be earmarked for your children outright. 
 
If you have any questions or need additional information please know that our door is always open at ESB Financial...342.3454. 
 
 
 
 
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