Rod Sutherland July 16, 2018

Here is a list of some of the things that an estate plan and business attorney can help you and your family with:

  • Protections for family members (against divorce, creditors, spendthrift behavior, etc.).

  • Disability – Special Needs Trust – this will allow a disabled beneficiary to continue to receive SSI and Medicaid

  • Divorce – redo estate plan; guaranty that your children will inherit your estate

  • Surviving parent has died – probate or trust administration

  • If someone has died – probate or trust administration

  • Named asset manager in the trust document – if you want your financial advisor or stock broker to continue managing the assets after your death for your surviving family members, I can draft an article in the trust naming your financial advisor as the trust’s asset investment manager. Your financial advisor simply continues to manage the trust’s liquid assets as he or she does now (depending on the terms of the trust your asset management may be multi-generational); there is a trustee separate from your financial advisor – a firewall keeps the trustee and financial manager from being liable for the other’s actions

  • Amend or restate trust to reflect change in tax laws for old trusts – estate tax likely not to be applicable to the vast majority of us, so a your trust needs to be changed (amended) to obtain an income tax advantage (a double step up in basis)

  • Consider the advantages of a trust – asset protection for your client’s beneficiaries, such as protection in the event of a beneficiary’s divorce; protection from the beneficiary’s creditors; protection from the beneficiary’s incapacity; protection from financial predators.  

  • IRA and trusts – again consider the advantages of a trust for the IRA asset (and the beneficiary is unable to cash the IRA out unless the trustee agrees that would be a good idea for an emergency)

  • Income taxes and trusts – it is very important to draft a trust such that the beneficiaries get a full step up in basis

  • Adoption or birth of a child or grandchild – may need to change the estate plan to accommodate an adopted or recently born child.

  • Starting a business – business formation; tax consequences; asset protection

  • Starting or ending a business; retirement,  death or disability of the owner or partial owner - business succession planning, buy-sell agreements

  • Periodically review the estate plan – changes in the law, changes in the family dynamics 

  • Estate Planning

  • Special Needs Trusts

  • Probate

  • Business Formation

  • Trust Administration

  • Business Succession Planning