Russ Cook & Associates, PC

Brentwood Estate Planning And Business Blog

What is a holographic will?

Unlike some other states, Tennessee has some broad rules that allow Brentwood residents and other people in the Nashville area and surrounding countryside to make out valid wills that do not strictly follow the state's requirements. One of the options a Tennessee resident has is to make out a holographic will.

A holographic will is a document that otherwise looks and seems like a will, in that it directs how the person's property should be disposed of when that person dies, but that is completely in the person's own handwriting. These wills are valid and recognized in Tennessee, even if certain formal protocols, like having witnesses at the signing of the will, are not followed.

Helpful steps in creating a succession plan

For many business owners, the most important issue to resolve in a business is how to keep it profitable. After all, making money is the primary goal. However, the biggest question confronting business owners is commonly an unresolved one: how to pass the business on when the owner wants to retire or is unable to run it. Many business owners may avoid this question because of its difficulty.

Nevertheless, there are certain steps that business owners can take to position themselves for smooth transitions into retirement. We will highlight them through this post.

Business choices are many and always have consequences

A core tenet of the free market system is that the more choices consumers have the better. Of course, having too many choices can be a bad thing. How many of us, especially in this age of ever-expanding access to information, find ourselves confronted with choice overload? There are so many options for nearly everything that it can be hard to make any decisions at all, and be happy with them afterward.

There certainly is no shortage of decisions to make for someone starting a new business. Once you come up with the idea, you have to write a business plan. To flesh it, set goals and objectives and make projections requires making assumptions and choosing between a wide range of variables. And then there are taxes and liability questions, answers to which should influence what structure the business should take.

Community Property Trusts In Tennessee

In Tennessee, married couples have the opportunity to establish community property trusts (CPTs). These trusts, simply put, carry incredible financial benefits, allowing couples to significantly reduce burdens associated with capital gains taxes and related concerns.

This is a relatively new development. Tennessee’s Community Property Trust Act became law in 2010. As a result, a significant portion of couples in the state have yet to leverage CPTs to their advantage.

Changes in life and law make estate plan review a good idea

It might have been after your marriage or the birth of your first child. Some people do it before their entire family boards a plane together for the first time or when they lose a parent. No matter what the occasion, for many people it has been years since they last reviewed their will.

And for some, will preparation is something they have been meaning to do, but just haven't gotten around to it. No matter where you are on the spectrum, it can make sense to sit down with your estate planning attorney and make sure that your plans say and do what you want in the event of your death.

Anniversary of Prince's death revives artist estate plan talk

The state of Tennessee is no stranger to entertainers. Nashville alone breeds some of the world's most talented and beloved musicians. The stars of Tennessee and successful entertainers throughout the country can earn a great deal of income, income that might continue to grow even after death. 

It is important for these big and sometimes everlasting earners to plan beyond their recording and touring schedules. They need to create unique estate plans that address not only their actual assets, but the future assets that may result from their creative works. Death might mean the end of earnings for some, but it can mean something more complicated for high-profile entertainers.

Attend a Free Educational Seminar for Unmarried and Remarried Couples

There are many people who are unmarried or remarried that may feel understandably neglected in the modern legal atmosphere. For anyone who fits this description, there is a seminar that you should think about attending. This free 60-minute seminar is going to focus on many of the legal issues, specifically paperwork, that unmarried and remarried couples may face as they move forward.

Attendees of this session will learn valuable information on a variety of topics. These topics will include: how to protect assets when planning a marriage or navigating a remarriage, how to proactively plan for children from a prior relationship, and estate planning challenges for couples in same-sex marriages. 

Common Estate Planning Mistakes Made by Physicians

Most people would desire to pass their assets down to their loved ones or give them away to charity upon their passing; however, people can't even give their money away without facing the potential of being taxed by the government.

For example, the estate tax (also known as the death tax) has the potential to take over 50 percent of the value of someone's estate as a tax upon their death. This would leave significantly less for their heirs, possibly placing them in a bind in the future. These potential pitfalls may be avoided with careful estate planning. People who have the potential to pass along a large estate, including successful physicians, will almost certainly benefit from avoiding some of the common mistakes in estate planning. 

How to Make Life Easier for Your Successor Trustees

Wanting to make the estate planning process easier on yourself is understandable, but sometimes that can go too far and leave your beneficiaries struggling to figure out what to do after you die, even if you've set up a trust or will. You can help your heirs out by giving them some advice that enhances the information in the trust and guides them through the process.

Successor Trustees

It's typical for people to refer to someone's property and belongings as an estate and to the person in charge of disbursing the estate as an executor. However, that term takes on a specific meaning after you die. An executor works with a will and the decisions of a probate court. If you have set up a living trust, the people listed on the trust as beneficiaries must call themselves "successor trustees." If the trustees go into your bank, for example, and call themselves executors, the bank may insist on seeing the court paperwork appointing them as executors.

You can create a trust to manage your adult child's inheritance

As a parent, you want to provide for your child, even when he or she is an adult. When creating an estate plan, it is important to analyze your child's strengths and weaknesses, and take a long hard look at your child's ability to manage money. If you have a large estate and your son or daughter has an unhealthy relationship with spending, establishing a trust may be in your family's best interest.

Estate planning for grown kids

Whether you are on the fence about your child's ability to manage money or just want to put financial protections in place, a trust can accomplish those goals. With a trust, you can choose how and when portions of your child's inheritance are paid. Common examples of major life changes include:

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