Tax, Trusts, and Estate Planning
Your estate is your legacy. You don’t want to risk losing your property or having it go to someone other than the person you designate – or owing more in taxes on your property than you expected.
Because of this, you want to have experienced lawyers who specialize in taxes, trusts, and estate planning on your side. Our superb attorneys at Johnstone Adams LLC can help!
What Estate Planning Lawyers Do
An estate planning attorney specializes in helping clients with end-of-life planning. They can help you navigate the estate planning process and understand the disbursement and taxation of your estate.
Estate planning attorneys will help you create an individual estate plan that will document your needs and wants. Some areas they can help you with are:
- Creating a will
- Designating beneficiaries
- Establishing power of attorney
- Creating advanced healthcare directives
- Documenting your wishes for long-term care
- Establishing a trust to protect and transfer your assets
- Reviewing your estate tax burdens and determining how to lower these through tax planning
- Helping you – and your loved ones – avoid the probate process
Why You Need an Estate Planning Attorney
It’s essential to hire an estate planning attorney and not try to create your own will, trust, or end-of-life planning. With the right documents in place – and completed correctly – you won’t lose control over your estate after you pass.
Without a will or any type of prepared documents, your estate will go to your closest relatives under Alabama’s intestate succession. A surviving spouse and children will split your assets, or your children will inherit the entire estate if your spouse has also passed. If you have no children, your spouse and parents may receive the whole estate or part. Siblings may qualify if there are no other close family members.
It’s in the best interest of your entire family to complete your estate planning while you are of sound mind and health. Our attorneys can make certain your end-of-life wishes and desires for the division of your estate are followed.
Some tasks an estate planning lawyer can help with include:
- Protect your beneficiaries: An attorney can help ensure your belongings will go to those you designate – whether it’s your children, grandchildren, or other loved ones — through beneficiary protections. An estate planning attorney can help set up trusts and oversee the inheritance of minors until they are old enough to manage the inheritance on their own.
- Plan your estate so the court doesn’t: If you don’t make arrangements to divide up your estate, the court will. Before the court decides who should get your assets, work with an estate planning attorney to designate which loved ones should inherit which property and assets. This is your opportunity to ensure your wishes are carried out.
- Document your wishes: You can reduce conflict within your family by having a plan in place so your relatives do not have to decide what to do with your assets or fight about who gets what. This will take some pressure off your loved ones as they mourn.
We Provide Taxation Services
While some law offices will need to bring in financial advisors to help coordinate your finances or help you reduce your tax burden on your estate, our lawyers in this practice area hold advanced taxation degrees and are skilled in assisting businesses, trustees, and individuals in their ERISA, tax, trust, and estate planning matters.
Our lawyers can even provide retirement plan services, including:
- Designing custom pension
- 401(k), 403(b), and ESOP plans for small, medium, and large employers
- Prototype plans
- Obtaining IRS determination letters on plan qualification
- Ensuring compliance
- Advising administrators and trustees on IRS and ERISA issues
- Representing plans in IRS and DOL audits
- Assisting plans through IRS voluntary correction programs to regain qualified status
- Merging or terminating plans
- Implementing welfare benefit plans, including cafeteria plans
For our business clients, we provide advice about entity formation choices, business acquisitions, and sales, as well as the tax and legal issues associated with acquiring, owning, and selling business assets. We regularly advise our healthcare clients on tax matters, including obtaining and protecting 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
What You Need to Know About Probate Law
Probate law impacts your loved ones after you pass. The Alabama probate process is designed to take care of dividing the estate among appropriate parties, and each state has specific requirements and deadlines. Probate legally ensures that the deceased person’s wishes are followed whether or not there is a will and guarantees that all state laws are obeyed.
You can ensure speedy probate or avoid the process altogether with the help of an estate planning lawyer at Johnstone Adams LLC.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in Mobile
Johnstone Adams LLC has been ranked Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in the region for 12 practice areas in 2023. We’ve helped clients for over a century and provide a wide range of specialties with decades of combined experience. Our broad interests allow us to serve individuals and companies with the legal help they need personally and professionally.