Estate Planning

Experienced Wills and Trusts Lawyer Serving Mississippi and Tennessee Residents

Making sure your legacy is preserved in the way in which you choose is important. Proper planning is the key to making sure your wishes and goals are met when the time comes. Capable wills and trusts attorney Robert P. Williams offers knowledgeable guidance to individuals in Jackson and other communities throughout Mississippi and Tennessee. Whether you own multiple businesses or have simple but important assets to distribute, Mr. Williams can assist you in setting up your estate to meet your specific objectives.

Arranging the Future of Your Assets

Different estate planning documents are available depending on an individual’s personal, economic, and tax-related objectives. There are several forms of standard testamentary instruments, and each of them operates in a distinctive way.

Wills are used to pass on property to certain named beneficiaries upon the death of an individual. People who inherit assets from a will typically must go through probate proceedings. During this process, beneficiaries must prove to the court that the will is valid, that it states what property is to be given, and that there are no other claims or liens on the gift. Probate often takes a minimum of six months for title to be transferred.

By contrast, a revocable living trust can be created during the lifetime of an individual, and the trust will hold legal title to his or her property. These instruments may be modified or revoked at any time during the lifespan of their creators. Living trusts will also contain provisions that pass on legal title to property upon death. These are often set up to avoid the costs in money and time of probate. By setting up a trust, the testator transfers title to property in the trust’s name, meaning his or her death does not affect title, and thus probate proceedings are not necessary. The trustee who manages the assets of the trust can then give the property to any beneficiaries.

A durable financial power of attorney directive allows you to designate someone to manage your assets if you become incapacitated and are unable to make such decisions on your own. The designated person acts as an attorney-in-fact who may handle any type of financial situation on your behalf. In the event you are unable to do so yourself, this person will be in charge of paying bills and taxes, managing your investments, conducting any business-related actions, and transferring or selling your assets.

In a parallel manner, an advance health care directive allows a designated person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Under Mississippi law, this may go into effect only if an individual is unable to speak or make his or her wishes known due to mental instability. To set out a more specific plan for your health care needs, a separate, more detailed document can be prepared.

Other estate planning considerations may require using additional devices and instruments to reduce taxes on income, gifts, or estate. These options can involve setting up irrevocable life insurance trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, and family limited partnerships or family limited liability companies. If you own a business, other methods and techniques may also be necessary, such as stock restriction agreements, buy-sell agreements, operating agreements, or a voting trust agreement. After determining the right course of action for you, the proper estate administration documents can be devised and filed with the state.

Explore Your Estate Planning Options with an Oxford Attorney

Planning for what happens to your assets after you are gone involves an array of important decisions to make sure your family’s future is secure. Dedicated estate planning lawyer Robert P. Williams helps clients in Oxford and beyond form properly designed instruments to protect their assets and rights. He works hard to make sure your property is transferred appropriately and effectively to those you leave behind. Please contact our office at (662) 234-3838 or through our online form to arrange an appointment. We serve individuals throughout the state of Mississippi and Tennessee.