James B. Betterman - Lathrop & Gage LLP
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James B. Betterman

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2005
Phone: 913-451-5102

Mr. Betterman leads the firm's wealth strategies team. His practice encompasses all facets of trust and estate planning, including: 

  • Preparation of estate planning instruments including wills, revocable trusts, durable powers of attorney for financial matters and durable powers of attorney for health care. Estate tax and income tax planning for use of the marital deduction and estate tax exemption.
  • Sophisticated estate planning for high net worth individuals including structure and documentation of family limited partnerships, discount planning, gifting programs, generation-skipping tax planning, private annuities, installment sales, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and grantor trusts.
  • Succession planning for owners of closely-held businesses including structure and documentation for corporate reorganizations, recapitalizations, voting trusts, stock sales, asset sales, and non-qualified deferred compensation plans.
  • Life insurance planning including preparation of irrevocable life insurance trusts and premium financing arrangements.
  • Charitable planning, including structure and documentation of charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, supporting organizations and private foundations.
  • Estate planning with retirement assets including planning for minimum required distributions, generation-skipping tax planning and conduit trusts, spousal rollovers, inherited IRAs, preparation of beneficiary designations and structuring charitable gifts.
  • Trusts and Estates litigation.

Creighton UniversityBA 1980University of Notre DameJ.D. 1983University of Missouri–Kansas CityLL.M 1986
Eastern Kansas Estate Planning SocietyKansas Bar AssociationJohnson County Bar AssociationAmerican Bar AssociationThe Missouri BarThe Kansas City Metropolitan Bar AssociationGreater Kansas City Chapter of the American Red CrossRockhurst High School Board of TrusteesRockhurst High School Advancement CommitteeGreater Kansas City Community Foundation

Office Location

Building 82, Suite 1000
10851 Mastin Boulevard
Overland Park, KS 66210-1669
United States


Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Trusts and Estates of the Kansas City-KS Metro Area2013 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Trusts and Estates of the Kansas City-KS Metro Area
James B. Betterman has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!James B. Betterman has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Practice Areas

Litigation - Trusts and Estates
Trusts and Estates (Estate Planning, Tax)