Having a current and proper estate plan in place is step one in making sure that your loved ones will not have the distraction and additional heartbreak that can follow when death occurs without a plan in place. Effective estate planning is, however, as much about lifetime planning as it is about taking care of your estate after death. For example, planning for incapacity and higher income tax rates are two areas of consideration. We represent and help families with “simple” estates and those with planning needs involving federal estate taxes, special needs, gift planning, or IRA distributions.
Planning steps with Turner Lumpkins & Blackwell
The planning process typically involves two meetings. At the first meeting we will discuss your estate planning objectives. We will review with you the operation of common estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, financial powers of attorneys and advance medical directives. In addition, we will discuss the options for selecting executors, trustees and other agents who are appointed by the various documents. Where appropriate, we will also discuss estate and gift tax planning opportunities. You will receive comprehensive estate planning recommendations, tailored to your specific goals and circumstances. At the conclusion of this initial meeting, your attorney will quote a fee for completing the recommended estate planning documents.
The second meeting is where you will sign your estate plan documents. Prior to that meeting we will prepare draft estate planning documents and email those to you for your review. After you review the documents, we will answer any questions you have and make appropriate changes, which can typically be accomplished via email or telephone. We can schedule a second meeting to discuss the documents in detail, if you feel that is needed. However, we find that most clients are prepared to execute the documents without an additional meeting. Once the documents are in final form, we will schedule a time for you to come in and execute the documents. We will provide a notary and the necessary witnesses needed to ensure all legal formalities are met. We will also guide you regarding any subsequent documentation you may need to fully implement your plan, including any recommended changes of asset ownership or of beneficiary designations.
When you work with our law firm in your estate planning, we will typically engage, as needed, with your financial adviser, insurance agent, and your CPA in crafting their plan. A “complete plan” for our clients brings together the: 1) estate planning for property transfers at death, 2) income tax planning, 3) disability planning, 4) asset protection, and, where needed, 5) business succession planning.
“Future Proof” Your Planning
When you work with Turner Lumpkins & Blackwell for your estate planning, you will have a plan that is designed for varied possible, future events. Even though our representation of you ends when your plan is completed and delivered to you, it is important that you to stay in touch after the estate plan is completed. Particularly if you experience a significant life event (e.g., birth/adoption of additional children, death or divorce of a spouse, inheritance, serious health issues of a spouse or child, creditor issues of a spouse or child, etc.), we encourage you to contact us to see how such events may impact their estate plans. To that end, we extend an invitation to all prior estate planning clients to contact us when such events occur. As much as we would like it to be, estate planning is not a static process. We are prepared to help you keep your plan aligned with your circumstances and wishes.