Trusts & Estates

Martin Tate attorneys have substantial experience in the following aspects of Trusts and Estates: 

Estate Planning. Our attorneys have a significant focus in estate planning. We regularly draft wills and trusts, including, among others, revocable living trusts and irrevocable life insurance trusts, durable powers of attorney and living wills. We assist our clients in all areas of estate planning, including, among others, estate tax planning in order to minimize taxes, business succession planning, gift and charitable planning and disability planning. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to meet the needs of our clients whether their needs are simple or complex requiring sophisticated estate planning techniques. Some of the planning techniques include: grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, family limited partnerships and intentionally defective grantor trusts. We also have formed and represented private foundations. 

Elder Law. Our attorneys have specific experience in meeting the legal needs of elderly persons and work with a variety of legal tools and techniques to meet the goals and objectives of our older clients. In appropriate cases, we assist older clients in planning for possible long-term care needs by coordinating private and public resources available to finance the anticipated cost of care.

Estate and Trust Administration. Our attorneys regularly provide estate administration services. We assist personal representatives and trustees in connection with the administrations of decedent estates in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. We are familiar with dealing with all issues commonly arising in connection with estate administrations such as preparing and filing all papers required by the court, notifying creditors, handling creditors’ claims and preparing all tax returns required in connection with an estate, including federal estate tax returns and all federal and state income tax returns. We represent personal representatives with respect to tax audit disputes and other litigation with the Internal Revenue Service or state taxing agency. Our experience qualifies us to deal with the most uncommon and complex estate issues. We obtain private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service. We provide post-mortem tax planning, using planning techniques such as special elections and qualified disclaimers. We provide advice with respect to the proper treatment of distributions from qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts. From time to time, we also represent individual beneficiaries of estates in ascertaining or asserting their rights and interests. We represent clients in will contests lawsuits as well as in lawsuits to interpret wills and trusts. 

Guardianships and Conservatorships. Our attorneys serve as attorney of record in connection with guardianships for minors and conservatorships for disabled persons. We regularly represent family members in petitioning the court for the appointment of a fiduciary for the person and/or estate of a minor or disabled person. Our attorneys, from time to time, are appointed by the court to serve as Guardian Ad Litem in connection with such matters. 

Business Succession Planning. Our firm has advised many clients on business succession planning. This topic covers a range of subjects including: planning for the orderly transfer of both management and ownership of a business; advising and planning for the sale or other disposition of a business; providing counsel regarding special considerations applicable to family-owned businesses; and offering tax advice in connection with these matters. We have significant experience in preparing a variety of agreements associated with business succession planning. These include various types of buy-sell agreements such as entity purchase and cross-purchase agreements as well as shareholder and other ownership agreements restricting the transfer of ownership interests. Business clients for who we have engaged in business succession planning include public companies, large or small privately-held companies and family-owned businesses engaged in a variety of operations and activities.