The SafeEstates Blog

November 12, 2020

Watch For Falling Prices?

The holiday shopping season is upon us. Will you do most of your shopping online or at brick and mortar retail stores? Will you shop early or wait for falling prices? Do you know Walmart, the largest retailer in America, gets about 10% of its total revenue from online sales? Sam Walton bought his first store in 1945 at age 26 in Newport, Arkansas. When the landlord refused to renew the lease, Sam was forced to sell the store to the landlord. Undeterred, Sam bought a different store 200 miles away in Bentonville, Arkansas. By 1962, Sam and brother Bud owned 16 stores. They opened the first...

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July 2, 2020

Celebrating Our Independence and Adjusting to the Velocity of Change

Our nation marks its 244th birthday this month. Recently much has been said about prejudice, injustice, immorality, hatred and selfish ambition in America. It may feel like America has made huge social justice changes for good over the past 5, 10, or 55 years. If may feel like the velocity of change is too slow. I hope you will take time on July 4 to reflect on the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control you see in other Americans. As Paul the apostle points out, “against such things there is no law.” How are you doing after several months of travel...

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June 1, 2020

COVID-19 and Legal Services

We hope you are safe and well. Those who have experienced personal loss from the pandemic are in our thoughts and prayers. Those who have relieved the suffering of others in their distress, thank you for your kindness and generosity. We are available to help you with legal services. At present our team is safe and symptom-free. We are following CDC guidelines and the Tennessee Pledge guidelines. Since our office reopened for all in-person services everything has gone well. We are meeting in person with clients to sign documents and perform other tasks. We are conducting many client meetings by...

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May 1, 2020

COVID-19 and Legal Services

We hope you are safe and well. Those who have experienced personal loss from the tornado or pandemic are in our thoughts and prayers. Those who have relieved the suffering of others in their distress, thank you for your kindness and generosity. We are still available to help you with legal services. We are following CDC guidelines, washing our hands, social distancing, disinfecting surfaces regularly, etc. Our office will reopen for all in-person services on May 4. Initially we will limit our in-office appointments to 1 each morning and 1 each afternoon. We will follow the Tennessee Pledge: General Guidelines for Businesses which you can...

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April 1, 2020

COVID-19 and Legal Services

We hope you are safe and well. Those who have experienced personal loss from the tornado or pandemic are in our thoughts and prayers. Those who have relieved the suffering of others in their distress, thank you for your kindness and generosity. As this newsletter is heading to publication, Metro Health Department has issued a Safer at Home Order directing all Davidson County residents to stay inside their homes from March 23-April 5 except to take care of essential needs and obtain or provide essential services. Legal services are among those deemed “essential services businesses” which will remain open. The Safer at Home Order...

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February 15, 2020

SECURE Act: Time to Revisit “Trust as Beneficiary” of Retirement Accounts

The SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20,2019 to take effect on January 1, 2020. Although the SECURE Act makes six or more key changes relating to retirement accounts (traditional IRAs and 401(k)s), we will mention two and focus on one of them. If you have a large retirement account and you have named a trust for your children as beneficiary of the retirement account, you will want to read this article closely. Keep in mind this is a brand new law and it may take a while for estate planning professionals to collaborate and develop new strategies....

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November 7, 2019

A Legacy of Hospitality, Charity and More

When hotel magnate Barron Hilton died September 19, 2019 at age 91, the lead story was his pledge to follow his father’s example by giving 97 percent of his wealth to the humanitarian work of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. In round numbers, Barron’s $3 billion gift was projected to increase the foundation’s endowment to over $6 billion. The foundation’s mission is to relieve the suffering, the distressed, and the destitute. That’s a big way to spell relief! The legacy of this remarkable family is worth reviewing. Conrad Hilton was born in 1887, served in the first New Mexico State Legislature in 1912,...

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February 1, 2019

Substantive Tip – Specific Bequests

When clients tell us how they want their assets distributed, they are clear about who they want to receive most of their wealth. They often want to leave smaller amounts to one or more individuals and charities. For example, a client may want most of their wealth to pass to their spouse and children (residuary bequest), but also may want to make smaller gifts to other family members, friends, their church, their alma mater or one or more other charitable organizations (specific bequests or general bequests). A specific bequest may involve a specific asset (for example, a lake house or business interest) but...

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April 22, 2014

Revocable Living Trust – Why Am I In Probate Court?

The revocable living trust (“living trust” for short) has numerous advantages.  In general, a living trust is a trust that goes into effect while its creator (known as the “grantor” or “settlor”) is living in which the creator retains the right to amend or revoke.  The settlor “funds” the living trust by transferring assets to the trust while the settlor is living or by naming the trust as beneficiary of specific assets (typically bank or investment accounts) at death.  One advantage of the living trust is that by transferring assets to the living trust, the trust assets will pass to...

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