As our country becomes more litigious, both in our professional and personal lives, it often becomes necessary to protect assets. The American Medical Association estimates that 6 out of 10 doctors will be sued before they retire. Even if those lawsuits are not meritorious, the effect on one’s life savings and life work can be devastating without proper asset protection in place. EMSW helps our clients implore asset protection strategies that prevent seizure of assets, deter lawsuits and encourage settlement negotiations. EMSW has experience with various Domestic Asset Protection Trusts, including Nevada, which has consistently been ranked the number one jurisdiction for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts by Forbes.
For many of our clients their legacy is one of charity and giving back to their community. Through the use of Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts (CRAT), Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUT), Net Income Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (NICRUT), Net Income with Makeup Charitable Remainder Unitrust (NIMCRUT), and Private Foundations, we are able to assist our clients in determining what gifting method will best carry out their legacy.
Many firms have estate planning attorneys and many firms have litigators, few firms have estate planning attorneys who are litigators. EMSW is uniquely positioned in that our estate planning attorneys are trained and experienced litigators and trial attorneys. We have the knowledge to understand the trusts and estate issues and the skills to litigate those issues. From will and trust contests to breach of fiduciary duty, EMSW has the training and experience to see your case through to a jury verdict.
Many families have created their wealth through generations of hard work and perseverance. Through this hard work they have accumulated business and personal wealth that exceeds the limits of what one may pass down to the next generation tax free. It is vital that these families take into consideration the federal estate and gift tax as well as Kentucky’s inheritance tax in order to ensure that the family legacy will pass on to the next generation. The increase in the federal exemption amount and portability offer many planning opportunities. It is essential that families and individuals facing an estate or inheritance tax issue work with attorneys who are educated and experienced with federal estate and gift tax as well as generation skipping tax and Kentucky inheritance tax. EMSW has the knowledge and experience to assist clients in multifaceted estate and gift tax planning. Strategies we use include, but are not limited to Generation-Skipping Trusts (GST), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT), Dynasty Trusts, Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGT), Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT), Grantor Retainer Unitrusts (GRUT), IRA Trusts, Beneficiary Defective Inheritor’s Trust (BDIT), Qualifying Domestic Trust (QDOT), Family Limited Liability Companies (FLLC), Family Limited Partnerships (FLP), Qualified Terminal Interest Trusts (QTIP), Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT).
A living trust is an alternative to a Will. As long as you are alive you can amend or revoke your trust. Reasons for revocable trusts vary from probate avoidance, to protecting children from a first marriage, to setting forth parameters that heirs must meet before they can receive an inheritance, to ensuring the future for your minor children. Living Trusts can be invaluable tools in elder law planning. As diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia continue to rise the Living Trust allows for the effortless transfer of asset management to the next generation.
An element of long-term financial and estate planning that is problematic for many clients is the cost of long-term care in a nursing home. Nursing home care can be prohibitively expensive and is not always covered by typical healthcare coverage. Many individuals find themselves paying for nursing home care out of their hard-earned savings until they have depleted their funds and are forced to seek other options. Individualized benefit planning with the assistance of EMSW’s experienced attorneys can help protect your wealth for intended beneficiaries rather than spending it all on medical bills. Options include special long-term care insurance, qualifying for Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and benefits administered through the Veterans Administration. Advance planning allows clients to protect their assets in advance, so that when the need arises they will quickly qualify for nursing care benefits. Each client’s financial and personal needs are unique, so our attorneys utilize a customized approach to ensure each client receives the best possible outcome for their situation.
When a loved one dies, unless their assets are held in trust, their estate will have to go through probate. The probate process can be daunting for those who have never stepped foot in a courtroom. EMSW’s experienced attorneys will guide you through the probate process every step of the way. From the initial presentation of the Will to the court to the final accounting and disbursement of assets, and everything in between. While many probate matters can be settled within the six-month time frame there are some that involve years of litigation. Regardless of the complexity of your probate matter, EMSW has the experience and knowledge to see you through to the end.
Special Needs Trusts (SNT) are specifically designed for individuals who are mentally or physically disabled and receiving needs based government benefits. Often times the medical benefits provided by the government are so great that no amount of inheritance could replace that medical care. It is important that individuals with these special needs continue to receive benefits. Trusts can be set up to supplement the special needs of the disabled individual while still allowing them to receive vital government benefits.
The basic or essential estate plan consists of five documents every person should have: a Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, Healthcare Surrogate Designation and HIPPA release. While these documents are often considered part of the basic estate plan, there is nothing basic about them. These are the documents that will determine who cares for you and your assets when you can no longer make decisions for yourself. These are the documents that will determine how your estate will pass on to the next generation. A poorly drafted Will without the proper legal language can prevent your intentions from being carried out and cause great hardship for the very people you intend to benefit. All of the documents we prepare are tailored to you and your life situation.