We at Gaughan & Connealy would like to thank our neighbors in Topeka, Kansas for visiting our website. If you are looking for a licensed estate planning attorney in Topeka, you have found a reliable local resource.
Topeka, the capital city of Kansas, is located along the Kansas River in central Shawnee County. As of the census in 2010, the population of Topeka was more than 127,000. The Topeka Metropolitan Area had a population of 233,870. Topeka is approximately 60 miles from Kansas City, Missouri and 315 miles from St. Louis, Missouri.
Topeka Ranks Highly in Many Areas
Washburn University, a top-ranked public master’s level university in Kansas according to the America’s Best Colleges rankings, has been named one of the top 20 public institutions in the Midwest. In 2010, Topeka was named one of the Top 10 Best Cities for the Next Decade by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. That ranking was based on economic prosperity and potential for growth.
A Taste of Topeka History
At the Kansas History Museum, you can travel back in time on the 1908 vintage carousel. You can also enjoy the sights of Gage Park while riding the mile-long mini-train ride. The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center’s interactive exhibits provide unique indoor and outdoor play areas for children of all ages. In Topeka, you can also follow the path of the Civil Rights Movement and the desegregation of public schools by visiting the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.
A Unique Shopping Experience in Topeka
With its many unique boutiques, specialty shops, and a newly renovated shopping mall, Topeka is easily considered a “shopper’s paradise.” There you can find designer home furnishings and unique décor at special shops such as Warehouse 414, Soho Interiors and J.E. Dickerson’s, the Kitchen Gallery, and Southwind Art Gallery.
Explore Topeka’s Art and Culture Scene
There are many art museums and galleries you can tour, including the Topeka citywide First Friday Artwalks. The Mulvane Art Museum is the oldest accredited museum west of the Mississippi River. You can also visit the hands-on ArtLab activity center. Enjoy a performance at the Topeka Civic Theatre, the oldest continually operating community dinner theater in the United States.
The Beautiful Outdoors in Topeka
For those who love the outdoors, you can explore a wide variety of recreation facilities in Topeka at beautiful Lake Shawnee. Whether you are walker, jogger, biker or golfer, Topeka has miles of paved, gravel and wooded trails, as well as golfing spots for you to enjoy. If water is your choice, the Kansas River provides an opportunity for canoeing, kayaking, and hiking.
Why You Need an Estate Plan
Here at Gaughan & Connealy, we take our commitment to our neighbors in Topeka to heart. Estate planning provides an important opportunity for you to prepare yourself and your family for death, as well as, the possibility of incapacity during your lifetime. There are many different options when it comes to estate planning. Choosing the right one will depend on your individual goals for the future. Your Kansas estate planning attorney can help you create the perfect plan.
Your Plan Can Determine How Your Estate Will Be Handled After Your Death
The other purpose of estate planning is to establish a plan for handling your estate after your death. One of the main estate planning tools used for this purpose is the Last Will and Testament, or Will for short. A will is basically a set of written instructions about how your estate should be distributed upon your death. A will can also give you a way to name a guardian for your minor children. One disadvantage of a will, though, is that your estate must go through the probate process before your assets can be distributed.
The Basic Elements of An Estate Plan
An appropriate estate plan should do more than simply state who should get your property after your death. Instead, a comprehensive estate plan should also include instructions for your care if you become disabled or incapacitated before your death. If you have minor children, it should name a guardian for them. Your estate plan can include provisions for loved ones with special needs or disabilities, as well as, loved ones who may need financial assistance or asset protection. Your estate plan can include distribution of life insurance proceeds for your surviving family, disability income insurance if you become unable to work, and long-term care insurance to assist in financing your medical care in case of an extended illness or injury.
Why It Is Important to Be Prepared for Incapacity, Too
The legal definition of incapacity is the ability to comprehend the consequences of certain legal proceedings, including entering into contracts or signing legal documents. Incapacity could be caused by either a physical or mental condition and can be temporary or permanent. Now, when it comes to estate planning matters, incapacity refers to the ability of an individual to manage his or her own affairs and to make important legal decisions for themselves. Without an appropriate estate plan that addresses incapacity issues, you might end up being appointed a court-supervised conservator or guardian.
It’s Not Too Late to Create Your Estate Plan
The reason most people delay in creating an estate plan is that they believe they are either too young or do not have sufficient assets. But that is not the case. As your Kansas City estate planning attorney will tell you, you are never too young to start estate planning. That is because you cannot predict how long you have. Nor can you be sure that an unexpected illness or injury will not leave you incapacitated. In light of this uncertainty, the best course of action is to start your estate plan sooner rather than later. The reality is, the families of those who don’t have a plan are usually left to pick up the pieces without knowing where to start.