McKinney & Tillman, P.C.

Attorneys at Law

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865-525-8700

Estate Planning
 Protecting Yourself & Your Legacy

What is estate planning?

Good estate planning is more than just preparing a will.  Your estate planning involves the transfer of your “wealth” both after you die as well as during your lifetime in order to carry out your individual goals most effectively.  The three primary objectives of a good estate plan are:

  • Transfer of assets
  • Protection of assets
  • Minimization of taxes

How can McKinney & Tillman, P.C. help me with my estate plan?

McKinney & Tillman, P.C. was formed with the goal to provide quality legal services to our clients along with attentive, personal service.   Your relationship with us is a confidential relationship built upon trust and integrity:

  • We counsel you on methods to preserve your wealth by minimizing death taxes while maintaining control to the fullest extent possible
  • We evaluate your particular needs in order to address the most efficient manner to achieve wealth preservation and distribution
  • We customize and tailor your estate plan to achieve your personal goals

What will my estate plan accomplish?

Estate planning is a process to choose and create legally effective arrangements to meet your specific wishes if something happens to you or those you care about. Proper estate planning accomplishes many of your personal and financial objectives: 

  • Financial
    • Minimizes potential taxes and fees
    • Preserves assets for your loved ones 
    • Coordinates what would happen with your home, your investments, your business, your life insurance, your employee benefits (such as a 401K plan), and other property
  • Personal
    • Includes directions to carry out your wishes regarding health care matters, and to give directions to the person you select to act on your behalf
    • Allows you to control the guardianship of your minor children and provide for their personal needs

What exactly is an “estate”?

The term “estate” consists of all the property you own or control.  Upon your death the term “estate,” for tax purposes, encompasses all assets owned or controlled by you (whether those assets pass under your will or not), including:  

  • real property
  • all personal property
  • all businesses and business interests
  • powers of appointment, life insurance and annuity contracts, pension benefits, IRAs, 403(b)s, etc.
  • all debts and obligations owed to others
  • all claims you have against others

But I have a will; isn’t that enough?

A will allows you to:

  • Name the individuals or charitable organizations to receive your assets when you pass away
  • Control the method of distribution whether outright or in trust 
  • Nominate an executor to administer your estate in probate and to determine if such executor is to be bonded or not
  • Nominate a guardian for your minor children 

Having a simple will is not always enough.  Without proper planning, a simple will cannot minimize your tax liability or offer asset protection from your children’s creditors.  In some cases, a will is not the best instrument; a revocable living trust is the best tool to use if you want to avoid probate.  

Having a simple will is not sufficient estate planning; however, a properly drafted will that works in conjunction with other instruments will often allow you to achieve the objectives of a good estate plan.