Russ Cook & Associates, PC
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Brentwood Estate Planning And Business Law Blog

Two key differences between an irrevocable and revocable trust

You can use a number of estate planning tools to achieve all sorts of goals. Some help to shield assets from creditors while others can reduce tax obligations. Determining the right combination of tools to make the most of your estate plan will depend on your wishes and the details of your estate.

Business succession planning: Gift or sell?

Family businesses are an important part of the country's economy. They make up over 50% of the country's gross domestic product and are responsible for an estimated 60% of jobs in the United States. Unfortunately, a recent publication in The CPA Journal notes only 15% of family businesses have a succession plan in place, only 30% make it through the second generation and less then 12% make it through the third.

Business owners can take steps to help better ensure their family business is successful for future generations. One of the first considerations involves how to transfer business interests. Two options are gifting or selling the interest.

How to choose an executor for your will

The executor of your will is the person you select to manage your final affairs after you pass away. This role is an honor, but it is also more than that.

The person you choose as the executor of your will must recognize that he or she will be required to complete numerous tasks. Each task may have its own deadline and legal complexity, and if the executor does not complete something correctly, he or she could be personally liable. Serving as an executor can be a big responsibility, which is why it is so important that you are careful when you choose the executor of your will.

4 steps to keep your kids from wasting their inheritance

As a parent, you put in a lot of hard work to earn, save and invest your money to create a withstanding inheritance for you children. But some parents worry that their children will blow through it before realizing the value of what they have received.

This is a common fear among parents who want to leave their children a parting gift. According to a study done by WealthCounsel, 35% of those forming estate plans, are creating plans to ensure their heirs don’t mismanage their inheritance.

Frequently asked questions about a power of attorney

A power of attorney gives another person — an agent — the authority to act on your behalf in legal and financial matters. Choosing your agent is no simple task, but it is an important one for anyone wanting to plan for their future during the estate planning process.


Is Tennessee an attractive locale for doing business?

After sifting through the relevant data points for analyzing a state's placement on a national list underscoring business friendliness, the bottom line concerning Tennessee is both succinct and clear.

To wit: By most measurable yardsticks, the state is an attractive and welcoming locale for commercial entrepreneurs and established business principals.

Proactive thinking about estate planning events, scenarios

Jamie Hopkins is a singly packaged finance professor, retirement expert and writer on estate planning. We spotlight some of the key points Hopkins underscores in an article he recently penned for the financial publication Kiplinger.

Hopkins unsurprisingly covers much varied ground in his piece chronicling planners’ common mistakes and the steps they need to take to skirt material errors in their focus and calculations.

Franchise opportunities: always fertile ground for TN entrepreneurs

The United States commercial market is the largest and most varied in the world. It thus comes as no surprise that bright and enterprising individuals are always focused upon ways to enter it and profit from their creative energies.

That is certainly true regarding entrepreneurs across Tennessee having viable ideas concerning business creation and growth. Even a cursory survey of business expansion in pockets spanning the state reveals an evident vitality coupled with great future possibility. We noted in a recent blog post (please see our Russ Cook & Associates October 21 entry) that "Tennessee has emerged as a regional powerhouse for attracting new and already established businesses."

Benefits for incorporating trusts into an estate plan

Most people understand the benefits of a general estate plan. It protects loved ones from duking it over assets in court, and it also allows you to fulfill any final wishes after passing. However, most people aren't aware of the benefits that trusts provide.

Trusts are incredibly useful tools for any Tennessee resident, especially if you pick the right trust for your family. But what exactly do trusts provide?

The world has changed; so too has estate planning

Forbes financial writer Martin Shenkman makes a dated – though still relevant, for some – reference in a recent article on estate planning to a storied fictional family from yesteryear.

That mom, dad and two sons comprise the Cleavers, who most baby boomers will remember intimately well as perhaps THE sitcom family of the late 1950s through early 1960s. They live on eternally through television reruns.

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Star

    “I recently moved to TN from MN and needed to re-do my trust documents, including a pet trust, to be compliant with TN law, and to find an entity able to act as my trustee. Russ and his staff were able to answer all of my questions quickly and efficiently, and I am comfortable and confident in Russ's representation and that my new documents will act as they are intended, when the time comes. They even put me in touch with a trustee who was involved in the process as well, which was so helpful. This was a big item on my move "to-do" list, and I am so pleased to have it completed!”

    - Kim J.
  • Star

    “We would definitely recommend Russ and any of his Associates. They are all very professional, efficient and well versed in Estate Planning.”

    - Cheryl H.
  • Star

    “Experienced, Knowledgeable, Friendly, Professionals all work here. I'm grateful my parents used this firm to create and maintain their Trust throughout the years. Working with the folks at Russ Cook & Associates, primarily Alex, Debby and Trina made the process comfortable working through Probate, Estate assets and Executing the Trust.”

    - Kemp S.
  • Star

    “Excellent work. They worked with us and never allowed us to miss a deadline. We definitely appreciated their help and would gladly recommend them to anyone seeking help with their estate planning.”

    - Mark S.
  • Star

    “Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. The staff and Russ treated us like family at all times.”

    - June S.
  • Star

    “Being new to the area having moved from out of state, I was searching for an attorney to assist in elder estate planning for my mother. I was referred to Russ Cook & Associates and found the firm as a whole and Russ Cook himself to be very helpful and accommodating to my needs, as well as experienced and very knowledgeable on the matter I was seeking assistance. I would definitely recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Brad H.
  • Star

    “Mr. Cook and his staff were phenomenal to work with on my will. They are extremely professional and friendly and made the process seamless. They go above and beyond!”

    - Amber C.
  • Star

    “Russ took the time to answer my questions by email, so that I knew exactly what would take place when I visited his office and his time as well as mine was used efficiently. I appreciated his thoroughness and his professionalism, as well as that of his staff.”

    - JoAnn G.
  • Star

    “Overwhelmingly positive experience.”

    - Stephen W.
  • Star

    “I have been a client for many years. Russ and his staff listen to our concerns, come up with a plan and help us act on it with guidance and professionalism. I'd highly recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Dr. S. D'Amico
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5141 Virginia Way
Suite 220
Brentwood, TN 37027

Phone: 615-200-9117
Fax: 615-370-5938
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Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Summer Hours Office:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Fridays
May 24th Through August 30th

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