Estate Planning● Wills ● Trusts ● Probate ● Living Will ● Power of Attorney ● HIPAA Waiver

Did you know you already have an estate plan?  Even if you have never created a will or trust the statutes of your state of residence prescribe what will happen when you pass.  That statutory framework determines who gets your property, who will care for your minor children and many other important decisions.  To avoid probate and to take control of how your estate is handled, you need an estate plan.

If you are young and have not yet accumulated many assets or wealth, you still need to have a plan.  Although you are less likely to pass away, illness and accidental injury can lead to unexpected incapacity.   Expressing your wishes for life sustaining measures and enabling your loved ones to interact with your health care providers is an important first step to creating an estate plan.  If you have just gotten married, putting together an estate plan is an important way to provide security for your new and growing family.

Maybe you set up an estate plan already.  If you have not reviewed your plan within the last 1-5 years, it is likely out of date.  As life goes on, new assets are accumulated, relationships and family status change.  It is important to make sure that your existing estate planning is consistent with your wishes and current life circumstances.  A review of your current planning documents with us can provide peace of mind in knowing that everything is still up to date.

Our estate planning attorneys are available to assist with preparation of your will, trusts and other estate planning documents.  We can also assist with probate estate administration. Planning and maintenance of your estate plan ensures that your dispositive intent is realized upon your passing. In addition, proper planning minimizes the administrative burden, time delay and expense of estate administration. Proper planning also affords the opportunity to pre-handle issues surrounding illness and temporary or permanent incapacity so that your loved ones do not have to. And a proper estate plan that is maintained helps to minimize estate taxes. Most importantly, creating an estate plan keeps your family and financial affairs private by avoiding probate.

We offer services that are tailored to your needs.  Once size does not fit all.  Please let us know if you would be interested in a free initial consultation to discuss your needs.  We triage your situation and assess you needs in this consultation.  You may need nothing additional or may find that you are in need of extensive planning.   We sometimes have this initial meeting with a new client and find that, although they don’t have formal estate planning documents, they have been attentive to the use of beneficiary deeds, transfer on death vehicle titles, pay on death accounts and maintenance of beneficiary designations on insurance policies, retirement plans and other similar techniques.


People commonly ask us “what will an estate plan cost me?”  In order to answer this question, we need to know a little bit more about your existing situation.  So we offer a free initial consultation to assess what you, in your particular situation, will need to properly plan for the future.  This conversation is a triage to get a sense of what components of an estate plan you need, and which you do not.  This helps us tailor your plan and keep the cost to a minimum.


If you have an existing estate plan, but have not thought about it recently or every, it is likely somewhat out of date.  We find most of our clients with an existing plan just need a bit of updating, not a complete rewrite of their estate plan.  This process is quick, easy and can be quite inexpensive.  An amendment to your revocable living trust or a codicil to your will may get your plan up to date by changing outdated information.  Handling assets that you did not have when you created your plan is an ongoing challenge and maintenance task.  Relationships and people change as do their situations.  How you provide for your children is different when they are 30 years old compared to when they are 3 years old.  We’ll help you sort this out and advise what you need to get your plan current.


Beneficiary Deed

Transfer on Death car titles (TOD)

Pay on Death accounts (POD)

Beneficiary designations on life insurance, 401(k) plan, other retirement plans

We can review how you have things set up as an added measure of security that things are in good order.


Something that everyone needs to think about is incapacity.  It can occur at any age.  Whether you are a 20 something sky diver or free climber or other form of invincible superhuman being, or approaching your golden years and at risk for heart attack, stroke or other incapacitating illness, you can become incapacitated.  It is quick, easy and inexpensive for us to set you up with our incapacity package.  You create an advance directive to specify what, if any, extraordinary life prolonging procedures you would want in the event of your incapacity.  In addition, you create a health care power of attorney, HIPAA waiver and general durable power of attorney.  This package is as much for your loved ones a it is for you.  It makes it much easier for those close to you to work with your health care providers when you are unable to speak for yourself.  This package is something everyone needs regardless of age, physical condition or financial position.  Contact us now and let us help you take a major step toward security and peace of mind.


A will is a basic tool that is used to override the estate plan that the statutes of your state of residence provide for you (intestate succession).  Understanding what happens to your assets without an estate plan can be a substantial motivator to set up planning that overrides the statutes and disposes of your assets the way you wish.  A will is easy and inexpensive to set up and can be accompanied by a tangible personal property list that you can update as desired to dispose of the many items of personal property that we all accumulate in life.  A trust is a more elaborate planning tool which allows you to manage assets following your death, time the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries, protect beneficiaries who are not good at managing their financial affairs, protect beneficiaries from predators, provide for those with special needs, plan for Medicaid, and pretty much any other scenario that you wish to handle.  And of course, avoidance of probate and the cost, time delay, and public exposure of your affairs are benefits of using a trust.

We make estate planning easy, time efficient and cost effective for our clients.  Many people fear addressing their estate plan because they think it is complicated, takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money.  We demystify the process and make it painless and convenient for you.

We make the process painless.  If you have a busy lifestyle and are not located close to one of our offices, this is not a problem.  We are happy to consult with you by phone Smiley face, email Smiley face, Skype Smiley face, or Facetime Smiley face.   In many instances, we can create your estate plan and send it to you for signature without the need to travel to one of our offices if that is more convenient for you.

For more information about Estate Planning contact:


Wesley T. Kozeny, Esq.
Direct Dial: 314-744-5680

*Admitted to practice in:  MO,KS,NE,OK,IL,NY,TX Member

Wealth Counsel Member

Elder Counsel Member

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