Carpenter & Lewis PLLC is a firm that wants to bring their clients the best we have to offer, so that their needs are met. We don’t try to split our focus from estate planning and transactional law, that way you know we’re focused on you and your needs. Whether you’re a business or an individual, we’re here to help you.
We focus on:
Carpenter & Lewis PLLC has four lawyers, with varying educations and memberships. You can find an estate planning lawyer Knoxville, TN that you like that suits you and your case.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of involving professional counsel and advisors who are familiar with your goals, the concerns you have regarding your assets, your assets in general, and your familial structure. These are people who have legal knowledge and are prepared to help you and your family look at your estate and how the properties and assets can be transferred upon your death.
Not all estate planners deal with people who are dying or dead, though, sometimes property and assets change hands for other reasons too, and your estate planning lawyer in Knoxville, TN may even take a look at your taxes to see how those books are lined up in regards to your debts and other assets and properties.
Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions
When you are creating your estate plan, you likely have many questions about how to create one, what should go into it, and what will happen to everything when you pass away. These are all completely valid lines of thought and it is understandable that you would want to be as prepared as possible. If you have questions about estate planning, turn to the lawyers you can trust at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC. We care about giving you and your loved ones what you need. We can help you through this process and provide you with the information you are looking for to make informed decisions.
What happens when the validity of a will is challenged?
If you have especially difficult family members and believe that a will you create will be challenged after you pass away, it is a wise decision to work with a lawyer. If you were not working with a lawyer and were creating a DIY will, a person may successfully challenge your will quite easily. This can happen because DIY and internet wills are not always state-specific and may not hold up. If a friend or family member challenges your will, know that your lawyer will have safeguards in place. A person may try to challenge a will based on:
Legal requirements. You may not meet legal requirements when you were creating the will.
Signatures. There may be a lack of witnesses’ signatures on your estate plan.
Not of sound mind. You may not have been of sound mind when creating the will.
Coercion. You were coerced into creating a will.
While these things may not be true, a person can still attempt to argue them.
Should I have a power of attorney?
When creating an estate plan, having a power of attorney can benefit you greatly. You can have a healthcare power of attorney who can make your medical decisions for you or you can even have a financial power of attorney who can give authority to someone else to make your financial decisions.
How will a trust benefit me?
A trust can benefit you and your loved ones in ways that a will may not be able to. For example, your estate can avoid probate and certain taxes if you choose to create a trust instead of simply relying on a will. A trust can also ensure you are taken care of in the event that you become incapacitated for any reason. A trust will also protect your assets from family members who may go through divorces or have substance abuse issues and wish to use your trust for their personal gain.
Some Important Terms to Know in Estate Planning
Understanding commonly used phrases and terms while working with an estate planning lawyer can really make it easier for you to understand what is going on.
You may encounter the phrase “A-B trust planning”, and this is a common arrangement in a will when the married testator has an estate with a value that exceeds their remaining estate tax exemption amount. The testator will then create a “marital trust” or “A Trust” that is for the sole surviving spouse to have access too. This may also be called a “QTIP Trust”. The “B Trust” is also called a bypass trust. So essentially, when you’ve used all of your exemption amounts, you can set up an A-B Trust and have the trust go into two separate trusts, to utilize both exemptions.
And connected to A-B trust, you may hear the term bypass trust used. This type of trust is sheltered from the federal estate tax by the decedent’s estate tax exemption amount. This trust “bypasses” estate tax, in the decedent’s estate and at the surviving spouse’s death as well.
A charitable lead trust is a trust that is created during a lifetime or at death that gives annuity (or unitrust amounts) to a named charity for life, or a set term of years with the remaining trust assets passing to the non-charitable beneficiaries when the trust is terminated.
A codicil is a formally executed document that amends the terms of a will so that a complete rewrite is not necessary.
Now that you know some terms that are involved in estate planning, we hope that you will consider reaching out to Carpenter & Lewis PLLC about your estate planning lawyer needs in Knoxville, TN.
“We own several businesses and have had the pleasure of working with Stephen and his team for over 9 years now. He always comes through in a pinch. They have assisted us with leases, estate planning, company formations and even landlord issues. I highly recommend them for all your business attorney needs!”
Mary Ellen Nichols