We use our expertise to help clients with estate planning and related matters.
For over 40 years Will has often been asked, “How much do you charge for a simple will?” to which he often replies, “Do you have a simple life?” With only a little further inquiry and discovery, life (and correspondingly death) appear much less simple. Another follow up question Will asks is, “Do you want your estate planning to be simple in its creation, or simple in its implementation?” At Morris Thompson, we view estate planning as an extension of our client’s risk management portfolio. A comprehensive estate plan includes a: Will, Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, HIPAA Authorization, Directive to Physicians, Declaration of Guardian for Minor Children, Designation of Guardian in the Event of Later Incapacity, and Appointment of Agent for Disposition of Remains. The next level of planning may include an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust or Special Needs Trust. Estate Planning may also include a pre-marital or post-marital agreement, which our practice views as an estate planning document.
Probate is the process of administering, and ultimately distributing, the assets of a deceased person to his/her beneficiaries. Probate can be a complicated, stressful, and misunderstood process. We help families navigate this public process which may involve the probate of a Will, probate without a Will and determination of heirship, a Small Estate Affidavit, and other mechanisms with which we are able to clear title to real property and vest title to assets in the name of a surviving spouse, children, or other heirs. Probate without a Will can be extremely stressful, especially in a blended or dysfunctional family.
Related issues: succession planning.
Business Succession Planning
Many successful business owners and entrepreneurs do a great job of providing services or products that define their business. They know their customers or clients well and generate profits by maintaining relationships, keeping well trained staff, and working long hours. Unfortunately, little consideration is given to the transition of their business upon retirement, death, or incapacity, until it is too late. We provide focused planning that will sustain the value of your business and facilitate a smooth transition upon sale, retirement, or death, allowing you to maintain family expectations and peace of mind. Additionally, we work with experts in the field of business valuation, which is an important piece when drafting a buy-sell agreement, determining estate or gift tax liability, divorce, or sale to a third party.
Related issues: estate planning.
Insurance Review and Planning
We believe that insurance planning involves risk management considerations. Our clients often focus on accumulating and building wealth without fully considering that a tragic event (e.g. an automobile accident) could put their wealth at risk. We will review your full insurance portfolio and liability risks in order to minimize the risk of any protection gaps. This review includes home and auto, personal umbrella, rental properties, commercial and business, life insurance and any other insurance needs. We do not write insurance or have any vested proprietary interest in your insurance selection. Instead, we serve as trusted consultants who have over 40 years of experience in all related insurance fields.