Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Your Financial Affairs & Health Care Decisions

It can be difficult to make the time to hire an attorney to help you with an estate plan. Sometimes the decision is prompted by the death of a loved one. Other times, it is caused by the birth of someone new. No matter the reason, a properly executed estate plan will be designed for both your possible incapacity and your death. Although you may have a good idea of who you want to inherit your assets upon your death, there are many more decisions to be made. Some of these decisions are likely issues you have not yet considered and include tax and asset protection strategies for both you and your heirs. At the Law Office of John R. Foust, we pride ourselves on helping clients execute personalized estate plans for their specific needs. You will appreciate your newfound peace of mind once you have the proper documents in place.

Estate Planning Documents May Include

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Revocable Living Trust
  • Durable Financial Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Living Will
  • Asset Protection Trust
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Supplemental Needs Trust
  • Buy/Sell Agreements
  • Other client specific documents

Planning for your Possible Incapacity

What would happen if you became incapacitated? Incapacity can happen at any age. It may be caused by a car wreck, dementia, or some other reason. If you become incapacitated, it is important to allow for immediate financial decisions to be made without having to go through a lengthy court process. These decisions can be made now and have the potential to safe both time and money as well as ensure the person you want to make these decisions will be the one making them.

Planning for your Death

There are many advantages to proper estate planning. For example:

  • Reduce Costs and Expenses. A revocable living trust can keep your assets out of a costlier probate process. It can also allow your heirs to receive their inheritance quickly.
  • Provide for Your Spouse and Children. Should anything happen to you, it is vital that you provide enough for your surviving spouse’s lifetime while also protecting your children’s inheritance in the event your spouse remarries. If you have children under 18 years old, an estate plan will also allow you to designate personal and financial guardians for those children as well as setting up trusts for their benefit. Measures can also be taken to ensure your children’s inheritance will not end up in the hands of their spouse in the event of an unfortunate divorce.
  • Choose Executors and Trustees for Your Estate. Proper estate planning gives you the opportunity to choose trusted executors and/or trustees for your estate. It ensures that you give them the necessary authority, which will save money and take the burden off of your heirs. It can also prevent the need for hiring expensive corporate trustees.
  • Minimize Taxes. The income tax has become main tax consideration for the majority of my clients. With the lifetime exemption increased to $11.2 million per person and $22.4 million per couple, the vast majority of my clients benefit from planning which primarily considers the federal income tax. There are both simple and advanced techniques which can be used such as marital trusts and community property trusts to ensure those who inherit your estate pay the least amount to the IRS if they sell those assets in the future.

What Happens If I Don’t Do Any Estate Planning?

Without an estate plan, most of your assets will be required to go through probate court and pass to your heirs under Tennessee’s statutory structure. Having an estate go through probate can be time-consuming and expensive. This proceeding is part of the public record. Thus, information about your estate is no longer private, and it is open to the prying eyes of creditors, beneficiaries, and nosey neighbors.

Let John R. Foust, An Experienced Estate Planning Professional, Help You Protect Your Assets.

For years, attorney John R. Foust has been assisting his clients in East Tennessee with effective, thoughtful estate planning advice. Indeed, John works tirelessly to make sure that each and every client has a personalized plan that suits their particular situation and needs. John knows how important it is to plan for your family’s future, and his experience in giving professional counsel sets him apart. Contact John’s office today at 865-203-4041. You, and your family, will be glad you did.

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