Estate Planning Attorney in Kansas City

Wills & Trusts

Estate Planning Attorney in Kansas City

The customized plan you need— with the lawyers you trust.

Rusty Fracassa and the staff at Paths Elder Law Kansas City are the most compassionate, attentive, and experienced elder law planners and advocates in the KC metro area.

We offer multiple office locations for your convenience. We can also meet you at your home, the hospital, or a nursing home for those less able to visit our office. Meeting with clients on Saturdays to accommodate their schedule is just one of the perks of working with us.

Estate Planning

What is Estate Planning?

“Estate planning” includes ways to distribute possessions and other property when one passes away, such as changing or updating beneficiaries, creating a Last Will & Testament, and drafting a Living Trust.

But that’s actually only one part of “estate planning” as the phrase is commonly used. Our goal is to protect clients’ intentions and wishes in case they become incapacitated (unable to make decisions for themselves) and/or after they pass away.


What is a Trust?

Technically, a trust is a contract instructing one party (the Trustee) how they are to use the possessions titled in the name of the trust. For these purposes, they are commonly referred to as “Living Trusts.”

The beneficiary of a trust is the person who benefits by the possessions and the instructions. A trust not only allows possessions to avoid probate when the asset titles or beneficiary of the asset is the trust, but the instructions can also make provisions in case of anyone’s death, anyone’s incapacity, or should anyone have other problems (e.g. divorce or creditors).


What is a Will?

A Last Will and Testament, commonly referred to simply as a “Will,” is a legal document in which a person writes their wishes as to how their possessions are to be distributed after death. A Will does not avoid probate. A Will is the instructions for probate.

If a person doesn’t have a Will, each state has laws directing how the probate court is to distribute items that were in that person’s name alone and without a beneficiary.


Stands alone and can be the primary estate plan document, or can be a “safety net” when used with a Trust.

Only possessions in one’s name alone, without a proper beneficiary designation, will require the probate process, and admission of the Will to probate court. As long as there are no arguments, this process takes about one year and costs about 4 percent of the value of the possessions going through probate.



The possessions that are titled in the name of the trust and the possessions with a proper beneficiary designation to the trust.

The process of distributing possessions after that person’s death can be quite easy. Typically, the successor Trustee listed in the Trust will contact the attorney for a short briefing on what they should do. In most cases, the Trustee doesn’t require an attorney’s further assistance. This process typically takes 2 to 4 months to complete.

How It Works


Step 1

At the first appointment, you will talk with an attorney who will collect information, discuss your goals, and give you options for your particular case.


Step 2

After 2 to 3 weeks, you will again meet with the attorney to review and likely sign your estate planning documents.


Step 3

In 2 to 3 weeks, you’ll have what is likely your last face-to-face appointment to receive the original and copies of your documents and begin retitling your possessions and beneficiaries, depending on whether you opted for a Will or a Trust.


Step 4

Unless a major even occurs in your life, requiring changes for your documents, the attorney will contact you in approximately three (3) years for a brief review to ensure your current estate plan remains relevant to any changes that may have occurred.


How much does this cost?
What is needed for the first appointment?
Does the trust protect my possessions from nursing home costs?


About Paths Elder Law in Kansas City

Our legal experts have more than 25 years as estate planning attorneys in Kansas City focusing solely on issues common to seniors and their families.

This commonly includes planning for the inevitable with Wills and Trusts or planning for the unforeseen with Powers of Attorney, Guardianships, and Medicaid or VA benefits. Our caring staff listens to your situation and concerns, then calmly and expeditiously explain your options with a timeline for completion. Our goal is to provide each client with security in legally planning for the inevitable and unforeseen regarding their passing and long-term care needs.

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Happy People

I had Rusty set up a will and do some estate planning. He was very easy to work with and extremely professional. His many years of experience in this field of work was definitely something that I appreciated. He was able to educated me on many things I had never thought of just in case the worst ever did happen. I can now rest easy knowing my family and business will be protected should I pass.

— Luke P.

We have been customers of Russell for several years. He has done an excellent job of helping us with our Trust as well as other matters. We can always count on his office to be there when we have a question. Navigating through the legal ins and outs of aging is daunting and I am so glad we didn't have to do it alone.

— Linda D.

I cannot tell you how blessed I was to have found Paths Elder Law. Your empathy and genuine caring is truly appreciated. Working with you was a pleasure.

— Terry H.

Our experience at Paths Elder Law was amazing. Rusty helped us get all our affairs in order when we were in our 50's still raising kids. He listened to our situation, responded timely and had patience as we tied up loose ends. Jennifer was impressive as she assisted us as we transferred all of our policies into the trust. We can't express enough how it was a above-and-beyond experience. Very satisfied!

— Torey G.

Get in Touch

Take the
first step

Reach out to Paths Elder Law today and you'll be one step closer to the peace of mind you're searching for.

We offer an initial consultation (one hour and fifteen minutes) for $250.00.

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