The Time is Now

Estate Planning

Whether you are enjoying retirement or celebrating the birth of your firstborn, the time to plan is now. Estate planning provides a roadmap for how your loved ones will be taken care of when you are gone. We take a thoughtful and holistic approach. We listen to your family story – which often involves deeply personal issues – and we give you the emotional support and legal advice you need to navigate difficult legal and financial situations and maintain harmony within your family.

Secure Your Family's Future

The preparation of legally binding estate planning documents that are customized to your unique situation is crucial to protecting and providing for your family.

Many people are reluctant to get their estate plan in order because they fear the process will be uncomfortable. Some people avoid attorneys while others simply procrastinate. We will support you throughout the process. Our experience shows that the peace of mind you get from knowing the people you care about will be protected when you are gone far outweighs any discomfort you may have. Moreover, in certain situations effective estate planning can save significant money by reducing taxes and estate administration expenses.

We work hard during our lives to provide support and opportunity for our loved ones so it only makes sense that we plan to care for them if we become unable to do so. Estate planning protects you and your family and allows you to leave a legacy that reflects your desires and gives purpose to your lifetime accomplishments.

Accomplish Your Desires

Estate plans vary from the simple, such as leaving everything outright to your spouse or children to more complex. More complex arrangements may include incorporating trusts and gifting methods to distribute property to family members over generations, while also leaving property to friends and your favorite charities. Our goal is to help you in designing and implementing a comprehensive plan that gives you peace of mind and best accomplishes your desires.

Avoid Probate

There are certain situations where avoiding probate may save estate administration expenses in addition to maintaining family privacy. Various estate planning tools, such as the revocable living trust, when well drafted, validly executed and properly funded may avoid the need for probate besides providing family privacy after death.

Protect Your Assets & Avoid Taxes

The primary objective of good estate planning is to make sure your estate plan fully benefits the people and organizations you care for. Part of an effective estate plan typically involves minimizing federal income and estate taxes owed so your property is preserved for the benefit of your heirs.

Thanks to Tennessee’s progressive trust laws, Tennessee trusts – which have become an increasingly popular tool for estate planning – receive favorable treatment in a tax-friendly environment. Trusts can be used to manage and protect your assets, to help you avoid probate, and to minimize your tax exposure. We meet with you personally to assess your specific trust needs and to design, implement, and administer your own customized, highly personalized solutions.

Plan for Incapacity

Besides arranging for transferring your property at your death, it is crucial that your estate plan designates who will handle your financial and medical affairs while you are living should you ever become incapacitated and cannot do so yourself. A key component of every estate plan is putting into place binding legal documents which include a durable general (financial) power of attorney and a health care power of attorney and living will (advance care directive).

Modify or Terminate Trusts

Due to changing circumstances over time, settlors and beneficiaries of irrevocable trusts often become dissatisfied with the terms of the irrevocable trust. Fortunately, Tennessee law permits under certain situations and using certain legal procedures – for the modification or termination of an irrevocable trust without the necessity of court approval. Before a modification or termination of an irrevocable trust occurs, it is important to take into consideration the tax consequences of any such modification or termination.

Plan for Marriage

Prenuptial agreements in Tennessee are legally binding and enforceable so long as they are drafted and entered into in accordance with Tennessee law. The goal of a prenuptial agreement is to determine the division of assets and spousal support in the event of divorce or death.

Prenuptial agreements are established for a variety of reasons. Many people simply desire to financially protect themselves and their children from a previous relationship. Others who are established business owners may desire a prenuptial agreement to protect their business holdings. Whatever your reason, establishing a prenuptial agreement doesn’t have to create tension within your relationship. If fact, a prenuptial agreement oftentimes alleviates financial uncertainty and creates a greater sense of trust between spouses.

Give to Charities

We help your family minimize taxes while at the same time maximize your legacy to the charities you support and love. We help develop and carry out your philanthropic vision by utilizing a number of tools including charitable lead or remainder trusts, donor-advised funds, and private foundations.

Plan for Business Succession

For closely-held business owners the idea of relinquishing control of a business in which you’ve invested so much of yourself and your finances isn’t easy, but the earlier you begin to plan, the better prepared you’ll be for unexpected events and impending retirement. The best option for transferring your business will depend on your business structure, tax considerations and your personal and family circumstances. We can assist you in implementing a succession plan that best achieves your long-term goals and a successful transition.