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Estate Planning and Probate

Estate Planning:  Strategic Preparation For The Future

You have worked hard for the things you have. It is natural to want to retain those things during your lifetime and to pass them on to your loved ones after you die.  An estate plan is essential for everyone, regardless of stage of life or economic status.  At Litchford, Pearce & Associates, our attorneys work with clients of all backgrounds to protect their assets, establish legacies for their families and retain control of their health care decisions. We accomplish this with estate planning and probate litigation tools.  Our goal is to help you plan for the future so you can have peace of mind today.

Our estate practice is full service, meaning we can draft, review, defend, and provide legal advice regarding your estate planning documents. We work closely with your tax professional or accountant to create wills, trusts, family partnerships and other complex estate planning vehicles to best suit your unique circumstances. Additionally, we can help you prepare for your, or your loved ones', eventual nursing care, incapacity, and passing on, while protecting their assets from excess/unnecessary taxation and medical expenditures. We can do this using solutions including:

  • Wills and trusts, including special needs trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, credit shelter trusts, and trusts for minors;
  • Powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and living wills;
  • Real estate transfers as part of a planned distribution of assets;
  • Estate and trust administration counsel and assistance;
  • Gifts; and/or
  • Charitable donations.

Additionally, if you own a business, your ownership interest in that business may impact how you implement your end-of-life planning. Because we are a business law firm, Litchford, Pearce & Associates is in a unique position to help you make these important decisions and to advise you about how your business interests may impact your estate. We routinely work closely with tax professionals, accountants, CPAs and other professionals to help you avoid mistakes that can arise when creating complex estate plans.

Many of our clients are successful business owners and professionals, including physicians, bankers, accountants, and attorneys, and desire privacy regarding their personal and financial information. With more than 25 years of combined experience handling complex estate planning matters, we deliver top-quality work every step of the way.

Also, as your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may want to update your will throughout your life. Litchford, Pearce & Associates drafts valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.

Probate Litigation

After the death of a loved one, settling an estate or administering a trust is typically a painful and emotional process. Surviving members need time to mourn but are often inundated with requests for information from banks, financial advisors, creditors, and medical providers. You do not need to face this time on your own.  Probate is the first legal step to proving the last will and testament of the deceased is genuine before the court of law. The probate process helps you transfer your estate in an orderly and supervised manner.

Let an attorney from the law firm of Litchford, Pearce & Associates assist you with executor and trustee duties and estate administration matters. We can help ease the stress of probating an estate or administering a trust by guiding you through these complex procedures.  Our lawyers can also help personal representatives (executors) through the probate and estate administration process, representing our clients in probating a will or in probate court if a will, trust or other estate planning document is contested. We can assist and advise personal representatives in their fiduciary duties, and we can help beneficiaries understand what duties are owed to them under the law. 

Throughout every aspect of your estate or trust administration process, we work with your accountant, financial advisor, real estate agent, property manager, and other trusted professionals. During the probate process, it is regularly expected that the following matters need to be addressed:

  • Post Death Estate Tax Planning;
  • Credit Claims;
  • Estate Planning for Survivors;
  • Retirement Account Benefits;
  • Estate Tax Returns;
  • Asset Transfers;
  • Life Insurance Claims; and
  • Social Security Survivor Benefits.

We also have a network of experts available on an as-needed basis who can provide expert opinions about unique assets such as antiques, rare books, automobiles, and other collectibles for accurate valuation, management, and possible sale. Also, we are accustomed to complicated probate cases involving intestate and blended families, and we do not shrink from a challenge. Discuss your concerns and options in a confidential consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys providing services in Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky and Colorado.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Nothing gives us greater satisfaction than helping our clients succeed in all facets of their business and personal lives. We strive to communicate well with our clients, provide diligent representation and be loyal advocates for our clients’ needs.

The information contained on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or to form an attorney client relationship. While we strive to update the site and insure the accuracy of the information contained herein, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of posted information. The statements contained on the website are general statements that may or may not apply to individual situations. Nothing shall constitute or amount to an attorney client relationship until and unless an engagement letter/fee agreement has been executed and signed by the attorney and client and accepted by the attorney and client. This website does not seek to promote or seek legal work outside of the states of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky or Colorado. We practice outside of the states of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky or Colorado only through licensed attorneys or through such local rules that permit temporary admission to such other jurisdictions on a case by case basis or pursuant to such other applicable rules. You should consult an attorney for legal advice about any problem, case or issue which you are confronted with or must address. This website is not a substitute for legal advice.

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