“When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.”

-Joyce Brothers

Insights

Dear Trustee… A Letter of Wishes Adds Heart and Spirit to Your Trust Document

A Letter of Wishes is an informal document that can accompany your trust document to provide your chosen trustee with an understanding of your specific directions and intentions.  It is not legally binding, but provides insight and guidance from the heart of the trust maker (or grantor).  It may also be called a “side” letter…

Choose Your Executor with Your Head and Not Your Heart

Reasons to consider a “corporate executor” instead of/in addition to family and friends Almost instinctively, we tend to tell our lawyers to name our spouse or responsible child as the executor for our estate. And this impulse makes sense – a spouse may know your wishes, certainly knows your family, and may have deep knowledge…

Are Trusts Still Important?

With very few estates now being subject to an estate tax, is there still a need for trusts? Trusts have played a major role in estate planning since the reemergence of the estate tax in 1916, and the introduction of the generation skipping tax in 1986. Since 2002, however, the estate tax exemption has been…

Is Your Giving Bringing You Joy?

One concern we hear from our philanthropic clients is that they are simply not receiving fulfillment from their years of charitable giving. While they have been more than generous, they do not have a clear sense that they have made an impact on the causes that are important to them. This is understandable. Charitable trusts…

The Savings Potential of Tennessee Community Property Trusts

Since 2010, a tax avoidance technique has existed in Tennessee that is becoming more and more popular among the estate and financial planning communities.  This technique, known as the Community Property Trust, allows a married couple to transfer property into a joint revocable trust to minimize capital gain taxes when the property is later sold. …

How to Keep a Family Vacation Home in the Family

The fast-paced society that we live in today makes it harder and harder to find quality time to spend with family. But you know this, and that is why you purchased that special place for your family to gather away from the bustle of everyday life. Whether a cabin in the mountains, a house on…

The Perfect Gifts for Your 18-Year-Old

Legally, your 18-year-old’s birthday is a big milestone.  An 18-year-old is recognized as an adult with the legal right to govern his or her own life. For example, they can do all the following: vote, enter legal contracts, apply for credit, obtain medical treatment, have the right to privacy and be completely independent from parental…

Things To Consider Before Agreeing To Serve As An Individual Trustee

 When the grantor of a trust selects a trustee, the grantor often names a family member or close friend. While many people may be honored to be named as trustee, serving in this capacity is a major responsibility that should not be taken lightly.  This is especially true since many individuals have little or no…

Framing The Future For Your Family – Portrait Of A Great Trustee

A GREAT TRUSTEE IS A… 1) PARTNER A trustee respects the grantor’s wishes and the impact of the trust on the beneficiaries. The trustee partners with the family to accomplish the goals and intent of the trust document. 2) TEACHER A trustee explains the trust provisions and helps beneficiaries understand the legacy and intent of…

‘Tis the Season (to Update Your Will)

During this holiday season, one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is updating your will, trusts, and other beneficiary designations. You may also give yourself a gift: peace of mind. If you have not looked at your estate planning documents in a while, it is time for a review. If you…