Planning Law Firm
At Palmer & Slay, PLLC, we are dedicated to using our combined talents and experience to provide a number of legal services to clients in the Jackson/Brandon area and throughout Mississippi. We believe our job as attorneys is to help our clients plan for the future in ways that are thoughtful and cost-effective. It gives us great satisfaction to know that those we serve sleep more soundly knowing that we have crafted their estate plans to protect their assets and their loved ones, prepare for their possible incapacity, or guided them through the probate or administration process.
At Palmer & Slay, we listen carefully to each of our clients because we know that in order to be helpful we have to fully understand not only your finances and families, but your unique needs, goals, and concerns. From the time we first meet you, we are trying to establish a long-term relationship and are well-aware that this will only happen if we earn your trust. We make it a point to come up with innovative solutions to problems you’re aware of as well as to prepare you for contingencies that may not have crossed your mind.
We keep current with any new laws that affect our practice areas so that we are never caught off-guard. We also look for new ways to help you plan for the consequences of aging. The customized estate plan we come up with will protect your accumulated assets from unnecessary taxation and protect the most vulnerable members of your family from losing government benefits like SSI or Medicaid.
Palmer & Slay has four basic areas of practice focus. Because all are interconnected, we can help you deal with places in which the circles overlap. Below are our practice areas and some information about each one.
Estate planning is a way of preparing legally and financially for your future and the future of your family. Since this can be a complicated process, especially if you have a large estate, it is important to have a knowledgeable, skilled estate planning attorney to guide you. At Palmer & Slay we are well-versed in every aspect of estate planning, so we will be able to protect your assets from unnecessary taxation and ensure that all of your loved ones are well provided for in the manner that you wish.
In a great many cases, we will be able to assist you in avoiding the time-consuming and costly process of probate by setting up trusts to hold your assets. We can set up one or more trusts to suit your particular needs, including: revocable trusts, trusts for minors, marital trusts, spendthrift trusts, and even trusts for pets. Each type of trust has a special purpose. For example, a spendthrift trust will allow you to select a trustee to dole out assets to a financially irresponsible loved one as needed so that your funds will be helpful for as long as possible.
In addition to trusts, there are other assets that do not have to go through probate that our attorneys can help you establish, such as jointly owned property with “right of survivorship,” retirement accounts and insurance policies that have designated beneficiaries, and bank accounts that are payable on death to a named beneficiary.
Many other issues have to be taken into account as we help you plan your estate. If you own a business, you may want to make sure that the business you worked so hard to establish survives you. We know all the ins and outs of business succession and will be able to set up a workable plan to preserve your legacy.
Probate is the process through which a judge determines a will’s validity. The role of the executor is to administer probate so that the decedent’s directions are followed. It is a fiduciary position, meaning that he/she must protect the financial interests of the beneficiaries. Administration is a process similar to probate, but administers a decedent’s estate when there is no Last Will and Testament. The fiduciary in an administration is called the administrator. Unlike a Will, which directs where assets ultimately go, state law determines who receives assets when there is no will. If you become an executor or administrator after the death of a relative, you may find the unfamiliar duties overwhelming. At Palmer & Slay we are well-prepared to assist you in carrying out these duties which in Mississippi include:
- Hiring the probate attorney
- Amassing and inventorying assets
- Having assets appraised
- Opening and managing an estate account
- Notifying creditors and paying legitimate debts
- Obtaining a court determination of heirs (for an administration)
- Filing tax returns and paying any outstanding taxes
- Keeping a complete record of estate funds
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries
Aging is common to everyone. Facing the possibility of infirmity or incapacity, however, is scary. As responsible adults, in addition to preparing for our retirement years, we should all prepare for the eventuality that we may require long-term care at some time in the future.There are several significant matters that our elder law attorneys can help you with relative to the possibility of your need for long-term care, including:
- Protecting your assets from estate taxes, scams, predatory lenders, and liability lawsuits
- Planning for long-term care so that you can remain eligible for Medicaid (which pays for nursing home care)
- Drafting documents relating to your end-of-life decisions (Advance Healthcare Directive, healthcare power of attorney, HIPAA release form, organ donor form, living will)
In most cases, we also create a power of attorney document that allows you to select a trustworthy person to make your financial decisions if you are no longer physically or mentally able to do so.
Many families include a relative with special needs (i.e. physical, cognitive, or psychiatric disability) who must be provided for no matter what the future holds. Our attorneys are experienced in creating special needs trusts that will preserve your assets while simultaneously preventing your loved one from losing government benefits (SSI, SSD, or Medicaid).
Special needs planning ensures that your loved one will have economic resources available, but, because she/he is not in control of the trust funds, will still be eligible for state and federal benefits. You will identify a trustworthy person, referred to as the trustee, who has sole discretion to decide how and when to meet your loved one’s needs. New clothing, a vacation, or a trip to the movies, for example, might be provided by the trustee while Medicaid will still cover extensive medical costs.
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We established the law firm of Palmer & Slay because we truly want to be of service to those in need of legal assistance. You can be sure that when you come to us, we will approach you with a background of knowledge and personal concern. We take your issues seriously because we know you’re depending on us. We are easy to reach. Just call us or fill out the contact form on our website.