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Creating an estate plan in 2018? How to get started

It's the start of a new year and for many people, that means making resolutions to do things differently or better in the coming year. However, these resolutions can often -- and easily -- be broken. People get distracted or unmotivated, particularly when it involves doing something that seems complicated and uncomfortable, like making an estate plan.

If you have decided you want to create an estate plan this year, then there are some simple steps you can take to get started so that you can keep this New Year's resolution.

  1. Think about your goals-This can include your financial plans for retirement, setting aside assets for your kids or keeping the details of your estate private. Taking the time to think through these goals can help you prioritize your needs and focus on what is most important to you.
  2. Start small-Do not make the mistake of thinking you have to tackle every estate planning objective at once. You can start off by creating a basic will or completing a living will. Over time, you can add to your plan and make changes. 
  3. Identify important people-Guardians, personal representatives, trustees and beneficiaries are all people who will be affected by your estate plan. Think about who will fill these positions. You can also discuss your thoughts with these people to ensure they are willing and capable of taking on these roles.
  4. Talk to an attorney-The legal process can be overwhelming, and attempting to get through it alone can be daunting. To make it easier and less intimidating, you can consult an estate planning attorney who understands state estate planning laws and can help you navigate the legal system.

Taking the first steps toward creating an estate plan can be difficult. However, the longer you put it off, the longer you go without the protection and peace of mind that comes with having a plan in place.

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

    - Cheryl H.
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    “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.
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    “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.
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    “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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May 24th Through August 30th

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