Mareta J. Smith focuses her practice on estate planning and probate, including the preparation of trust agreements, wills and various powers of attorney, as well as business succession planning.
She also does a significant amount of general corporate and transactional work, including some real estate work.
When designing an estate plan, Mareta believes there are several important considerations, including:
- Dealing with unique family situations, such as having a beneficiary who is a spendthrift, having a disabled beneficiary or having a beneficiary with substance abuse issues;
- Minimizing taxes at death, including estate and income taxes;
- If there is a family-owned business, ensuring that there is a smooth transition in ownership so that the business will be able to function without interruption. (It is rarely a good idea to just give the business in equal shares to all of the children.)
Once a person has died, estate or trust administration becomes necessary. Assets are inventoried, debts and taxes are paid and ultimately the beneficiaries receive their share, either outright or in trust. For many families, this is a difficult process.
If appropriate planning is in place, it will lessen the potential for stress on family relationships.
Mareta also has extensive experience in gift planning, tax planning and corporate transactions, including the negotiation of various types of contracts such as asset sale and purchase agreements, shareholder agreements, lease agreements, license agreements, noncompete agreements, employment agreements, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements, and consulting agreements.
- J.D., University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law, 1983
- M.B.A., University of Missouri – Columbia, 1983
- B.S.B.A., Pittsburg State University, 1980
- American Bar Association
- Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
- The Missouri Bar
- Donald H. Chisholm Planned Giving Council
- Estate Planning Society of Kansas City
- Mid-America Planned Giving Council
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