KC Estate Works - August 2017

The Works Everything you need to know for greater peace of mind.

August 2017



Welcome to The Works!

Our Inaugural Issue

Dear clients, friends, and colleagues,

“It is my hope that this newsletter (together with the other KC Estate Works content) will help keep us connected to you.”

I am extremely excited to be sending you the very first edition of my monthly newsletter, The Works! The Works is the newest addition to the project that I have been working on over the past year under the label “KC Estate Works” (more on that in a minute). Most of you probably know me through my law practice with Kennedy Berkley, and I am happy to report that 2017 marks my six-year anniversary with the firm. When I moved to Salina in 2010 to take the job with Kennedy Berkley, my practice shifted dramatically from estate and business planning to an almost singular focus on commercial banking and real estate. At the time, banks were still reeling from the ’08–’09 crisis, and there was a huge demand for this type of work within the firm. It was a fantastic experience, allowing me to cut my teeth in commercial litigation and also add considerable depth to my transactional practice. At the end of the day, however, I always knew that I wanted to get back to working with families and their businesses. By 2013, the banking waters had calmed enough to allow me to return to Kansas City and work remotely so that my wife, Allison, and I could be closer to our families. Since our return, I have been steadily transitioning my practice back to my roots, which is counseling families and entrepreneurs in the primary areas of estate and business planning, and estate and probate matters.

I am publishing content under KC Estate Works as the next progression in this transition. My goal with KC Estate Works is to provide you with timely and useful content and education, specifically curated to issues surrounding my clients’ families and businesses. By utilizing a variety of mediums, it is my hope that I will keep you engaged in the critical areas of estate and business planning. I invite you to also visit my website, kcestateworks.com, and my Facebook page, facebook.com/kcestateworks. These will continue to be updated with educational resources, dates and times for free educational seminars, and the occasional tidbit about my practice and you the clients.

Most importantly, it is my hope that this newsletter (together with the other KC Estate Works content) will help keep us connected to you. If you have any questions, topics, or content that you would like me to address in this newsletter or a future seminar (or if you just want to chat), I encourage you to call my office, as I am all ears! Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to serve you as clients and colleagues. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

-John Thompson

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The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.


The Latest in Home Technology

We’ve all had those days when you leave the house, a cold chill runs down your spine, and your mind is flooded with doubt. Did I leave the stove on? Is the door unlocked? Luckily, like many common problems, the tech world is trying to make these worries a thing of the past. There are now a variety of apps that allow you to control nearly every aspect of your home from your phone, no matter where you are.

At the simpler end of the spectrum are Belkin’s WeMo products. WeMo makes smart plugs that allow you to remotely operate any device that plugs into the wall. They’re great for products like hair straighteners that can pose a fire hazard if left on unattended. Another company at the forefront of household tech is Nest, best known for their thermostats. Nest thermostats are not only fully customizable based on time and weather conditions, but they can also program themselves through the Nest Learning System. Using the product is also energy efficient, saving you money on the electric bill. If you want to your house to be fully teched out, then SmartThings is the best option. The SmartThings hub allows you

to connect an infinite number of devices to your phone. These devices can even “talk” to each other once they are part

of your SmartThings system. If you want your coffee pot to turn on the moment you start running the shower, you can do it. You can also connect SmartThings to voice assistants like the Amazon Echo, which will allow you to turn on appliances with the sound of your voice. Interconnecting your home appliances will only grow easier in the coming years. Whether you want to dip your toe in the water or dive in fully, there’s a product out there for you.

Thank You!

Your Referrals Make a Difference


At KC Estate Works, we are dedicated to your estate, tax, and business succession plans. We’re here to help you achieve peace of mind by getting your affairs in order and minimizing the burden placed on your loved ones. That’s why every referral you send our way makes a difference. We get to help even more people. And for that, thank you for your referrals and thank you for placing your trust in us not only to help you, but to help the people you care about.

Sharon Weaver Brian Winokur Jamie Bosse Rich & Niki Friesen Mike & Debbie Mallett Steve Brown



Is Your Estate Plan Collecting Dust? IT’S PROBABLY TIME FOR A CHECKUP

When is the last time you took a look at your estate plan documents? If you are like most of us, it was probably right after

estate plans much faster than we think. This is especially true for clients with living trusts. A huge mistake I witness in my practice is clients failing to keep up with proper titling of their assets and updating beneficiary designations. You can have the most sophisticated trust in the world, and it will not be worth the paper it is printed on if it is not properly funded. If it has been more than three years since you executed or amended your estate plan then it is time to dust it off and make sure that it

is still the best possible plan for you and your family given your current circumstances. If you are one of my clients, it’s easy! I offer a free checkup consultation once every five years after you put your plan in place. So if you haven’t come in to see me yet, give me a call and set up your appointment. We will go over your existing documents, account titling, beneficiary designations, and any life changes affecting your family and business since we last talked. Remember, over time your family situations will change, assets will grow, and estate planning laws and techniques will morph. Make sure your plan stays up to date so that it works when your family really needs it. DO YOU NEED HELP REVIEWING YOUR ESTATE PLAN? Contact me at 913-214-1884, and we can periodically guarantee that your current wishes are reflected in your estate plan.

you signed them and stuck them in the filing cabinet they currently reside in. For better or worse, estate planning is just one of those items we procrastinate on. Once we finally do get it done, we have a tendency to breath a huge sigh of relief, and 20 years zips by.

But here is the deal: During those 20 years your life changes dramatically. You have more kids, you buy a bigger house, you roll over the 401(k), you switch insurance polices, the kids

go to college, and you buy a smaller house. You get the picture. We start to outgrow our


Laugh Out Loud

Make the most of these remaining

summer weeks and take dinner outside to the grill! You don’t need to visit the fair for this delicious, classic street food.


• • •

¼ cup mayonnaise ¼ cup sour cream

½ teaspoon chili powder

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro 4 ears corn, shucked 1 lime, cut into wedges

½ cup finely crumbled feta cheese

1 medium clove garlic, minced

• •


1. Set burners of gas grill to high heat and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. 2. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in large bowl. Stir until well combined and set aside. 3. Place corn on hot grill, rotating occasionally. Grill until cooked through and charred in spots on all sides (about 8 minutes). 4. Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use large spoon to evenly coat each ear on all sides. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.

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Recipe inspired by seriouseats.com.


5350 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kansas 66211

I nside T his I ssue


Welcome to The Works!


Smarten Up Your Home Your Referrals Make a Difference


Is Your Estate Plan Collecting Dust? Grilled Mexican Street Corn


View of a Lifetime

VIEW OF A LIFETIME Where to Watch the Great American Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, the greatest show of the summer will take place all across the United States: a total solar eclipse. For a brief period, viewers in certain areas will be able to behold a complete obstruction of the sun by the moon, creating a halo of light around the celestial body. The eclipse will be visible throughout North America, but the path of totality — the area where the moon completely covers the sun — will only fall in the continental U.S., leading this massive cosmic event to be called the Great American Eclipse.

A total solar eclipse is definitely an experience not to be missed. It’s not every day (actually, not even every 20 years) that we get the chance to watch the sun become progressively covered up by the moon until, at the peak of totality, the sky goes totally dark and a faint circle of light forms a blazing corona around the black disk of the moon.

The shadow of the

moon will pass over the northeast corner of Kansas at

approximately 1:06 p.m. CST. The northern suburbs of Kansas City will be able to enjoy the eclipse, but we encourage Kansans to make a quick road trip to the north or east of the state to increase the view of the totality. Points near St. Joseph, Missouri, will enjoy up to 2 minutes and 39 seconds of total sun blockage, making it one of the best places to watch this incredible natural event. Head to stjomo.com/eclipse2017 to plan your trip.

Luckily for us Kansas Citians, we’ll have a front-row seat just to the north of St. Joe!



The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

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