Russ Cook & Associates, PC

Brentwood Estate Planning And Business Blog

Addressing cryptocurrency in your estate plan

Increasingly, people are addressing and including digital or virtual assets in their estate plan, which can be critical. Overlooking these components can have costly, inconvenient consequences when the time comes to settle a person's affairs.

For instance, if you fail to disclose ownership of cryptocurrency in your estate plan, then it is possible that the money will remain undiscovered and essentially worthless.

The next generation and your family business

If you're planning to keep your business in the family after you retire or pass away, there's more to it than grooming a successor. Your heirs' desire to run the business, their leadership capabilities, and technology and cultural changes should influence the decision. In addition to those factors, though, you need a succession plan that won't damage the business as it changes hands.

According to Harvard Business Review, 70 percent of family businesses fail before the second generation takes over, and just 10 percent survive to a third generation. While the stats will vary from industry to industry, there are many universal items to consider as you draft a succession plan for your heirs.

Why would I need a gun trust?

Estate planning has the potential to be more complicated than people realize when there are complicated assets involved. However, you might not know that you have complicated assets if you have not discussed your estate planning needs and goals with an attorney.

For instance, if you have certain firearms that you want to pass on to family members or friends, then you need to take steps to specifically address this transfer. It would not be wise to assume they will be transferred like any other asset. If you do make this assumption, your loved ones could face some serious consequences like fines, criminal charges and asset seizure.

Pet owners: What you should know about creating a pet trust

Pets are an important member of many Tennessee families. They are protectors, companions and best friends that are with us through good times and bad. Considering all that a pet can bring to your life, it can be crucial that you take steps to protect your pet should you pass away.

One way to do this is to create a pet trust. A pet trust is an estate planning tool you can use to set aside money or property for the benefit of your pet. Below, we examine some of the basic elements of this trust.

Music festival trademark dispute gets ugly

Music and movie fests can be found in every corner of the country. A few, however, are massive, worldwide attractions that bring in top tier performers and launch the careers of new entertainers.

Coachella is one of these well-known festivals. The musical and artistic event draws in the rich and the famous; it also boasts a sizable following of music fans as well as fashion fans, as Coachella attendees set the stage for festival-going trends. However, despite its trend-setting reputation, Coachella is facing a legal battle involving a not-so-new issue: trademark infringement.

Don't make these estate planning mistakes if you value privacy

People all across Nashville make their living in the public eye. For better or worse, actors, musicians and other high-profile professionals often see the details of their lives (or rumored details of their lives) splashed across tabloid websites and discussed by complete strangers.

Under these circumstances, it can feel like nothing is private. However, that is not the case in the context of estate planning. There are ways to keep the details of your financial life and end-of-life wishes private, but to do so, you should avoid the following mistakes.

Tennessee franchising opens many questions about business law

A common complaint of employees is the drudgery of working for someone else. Owning and running a business is a dream for many in Tennessee, but the daunting task of starting from the ground up is enough to frighten potential entrepreneurs away from the idea. In addition to the cost, there is the complicated business law involved in creating a company. However, many find that one way to keep the dream alive is to investigate the possibility of buying into a franchise.

The advantages of franchising are many, not the least of which is that much of the start-up work is already done. A system for running the business is already established, and a support system is in place that a new business may not offer. A franchise often provides training and marketing that a budding entrepreneur may not be able to afford. Someone starting out as a business owner may find it easier to convince a bank to finance a franchise operation over a brand new, unproven venture.

3 things to consider when leaving your kids a sizable inheritance

Parents work their entire adult lives to provide for their kids and ensure their needs are met. If this work pays off in the form of substantial earnings and property, then you can have a considerable estate that can provide for your kids long after you are gone.

If you plan to leave them a sizable inheritance, though, there are precautions you should take in order to protect the money you leave behind. While you may not want to put too many restrictions and controls in place, there are some steps you can take to ensure you safeguard your wishes for your money and your children.

What is a community property trust?

Property ownership is never as simple as who signed the check or who holds the deed. Marital property is especially complex when joint owners become sole owners through the death of a spouse. When ownership changes hands, there are bureaucratic inefficiencies and tax complications that take time and cost money.

Lack of end-of-life plans place considerable burden on loved ones

A person's death takes a considerable emotional toll on his or her loved ones. They are left to cope with feelings of loss, overwhelming sadness and fear about the future. When a person passes away without providing any guidance for his or her estate, these feelings can grow to include anger, frustration and even resentment.

This is particularly true if the person had significant assets or multiple properties to distribute. If you have not taken steps to address distribution of your own substantial or complicated assets through trust or estate planning, then you are leaving your loved ones to manage some incredibly difficult obstacles. We discuss some of these obstacles below.

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