You have worked hard to provide for your family, take care of loved ones, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. At Rushing & Guice, we know that managing and protecting all that you have earned can be a daunting task. That is why we work closely with our clients to construct comprehensive estate plans and develop asset protection strategies that accomplish your goals and bring you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your financial house is in order.
Trust & Estates
Estate planning, trust and estate administration, and asset protection are integral parts of Rushing & Guice’s practice. Our attorneys are experienced in developing estate plans and wealth preservation strategies designed to meet the client’s personal, financial, and tax goals, and in advising clients in all facets of trust and estate administration. Areas of counsel include:
Administration of estates
Business succession planning
Charitable gift planning, including charitable trusts and private foundations
Establishing gifting programs, including gifts to minors
Guardianships and conservatorships
Insurance planning, including irrevocable life insurance trusts
Planning for retirement benefits
Planning regarding the formation of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies
Powers of attorney, including health care directives
Trust drafting and administration
Will drafting and execution
Will probate and contests
Rushing & Guice helps clients to protect their personal and business assets from lawsuits and other creditor claims by working together to create different types of wealth preservation strategies based upon their needs, protecting them, their families, or their businesses from financial crisis, catastrophic judgments, and future creditors. Our attorneys can work with you to implement appropriate strategies which can form a barrier between your assets and those who are trying to get access to them.
Why is an Estate Plan Important?
At Rushing & Guice, we understand the hesitancy our clients feel when thinking about planning for their deaths. However, after a lifetime of hard work, it is important that our clients control the distribution of assets to designated beneficiaries. A thoughtful estate plan anticipates tax, business succession, charitable giving, and most importantly, security for your family and heirs. Here are some reasons why you need an estate plan:
Assets go to the designated beneficiaries: Dying without a will means that your assets will be distributed by a formula devised by the Mississippi state legislature. A solid estate plan, including a will, business succession plan, and perhaps a trust or two, ensures that your assets go to the people and institutions you have chosen to benefit. You remain in control.
Plan end-of-life health care: A full spectrum estate plan involves appointing a health care proxy and drafting a durable power of attorney. Some clients prefer to detail the considerations for end-of-life decisions so that family members are fully aware of their desires. Others use this opportunity to have frank discussions with the designated health care proxy and family members.
Plan for the future of investments: A smart estate plan enables you to retain certain investments and advise on their future viability. These mandates can help your family manage assets well beyond your lifetime.
Establish trusts: Some beneficiaries might not be ready to manage significant assets or might require protection from exploitation. The vehicle to use is a trust, which can provide future security to heirs while placing responsibility for investment and distribution in professional hands.
Appoint an executor: An estate plan provides for the appointment of an executor so that the terms of the will are strictly observed and your wishes fully carried out to preserve your assets.
Designate a guardian for children: Providing for the future security for any minor children is another important aspect of estate planning. Designating a guardian rather than having the State of Mississippi make that decision can ensure that your children are properly cared for by family or friends in the event of your untimely death.
Business succession planning: How your business survives and thrives at the end of your life can be advanced through proper estate planning by creating a plan for continuity of leadership and ownership.
Protect assets from creditors: Through the use of asset transfers and trusts our clients can protect their assets from creditors so that family members’ future economic security is maintained.
Charitable contributions: Thoughtful charitable contributions can minimize tax consequences and provide for lasting funding to the charitable institutions that mean the most to you.
Avoid excessive tax liabilities: Estate planning anticipates the tax consequences of passing on assets to the next generation. Although Mississippi does not collect estate taxes, the federal government does. At Rushing & Guice, we can arrange for estates that minimize taxes and maximize security for your family.
Trusts as an Asset Preservation Tool
A trust permits the transfer of assets to a third party for the benefit of one or more people, including the grantor or heirs. Trusts can be important tools to preserve assets and ensure the future security of the family. A trust has several components:
Grantor: is the person who sets up the trust and funds it with assets.
Trustee: is the person who administers the trust.
Principal: are the assets put into the trust. The principal can be cash, investments, real property, or even a business.
Beneficiary: is the person or institution that receives the distributions from the trust.
Experienced trusts and estate lawyers in Mississippi can devise trust agreements that avoid probate, save on taxes, provide for your care in the event of incompetence, and manage assets for heirs and beneficiaries while they are young and immature. Trusts come in many forms—marital, bypass, testamentary, intervivos, charitable lead and remainder trusts, and grantor retained annuity trust. A specific trust can be devised to suit your needs and wishes.
Special Needs Planning
Special needs’ planning encompasses many areas of the law, such as trusts and estates, public benefits law, and health care law. We can develop special needs trusts, wills, letters of intent, powers of attorney, health care directives, and other means of ensuring that disabled individuals will enjoy a lifetime of care, assistance, and financial security. Our attorneys also help parents determine, maximize and preserve their child’s eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Special needs estate planning requires a careful balancing of resources and each family’s unique needs.
At Rushing & Guice, comprehensive estate planning and asset protection counsel on the Gulf Coast are a phone call away. Call us at (228) 374-2313 or fill out our online form to arrange for a limited initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and look forward to the opportunity to serve as your attorneys.