Blog Posts

Federal Estate and Gift Tax Exemption Updates for 2023

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

The increased estate tax exemption for 2023 coincides with the federal gift tax exemption – meaning you can gift $17,000 annually to your heirs and loved ones as gifts (or $34,000 for most married couples).

Mississippi Estate Tax Guide

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

While the state of Mississippi doesn't levy estate taxes, The IRS has an established estate tax threshold that increases annually.

Estate Planning During a Recession

Thursday, October 20th, 2022

A valid and enforceable estate plan can save you and your beneficiaries both time and money in the long run.

Estate Planning for Business Owners

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

An estate plan is an essential tool for anybody looking to protect and control their hard-earned wealth and assets. This is especially true for business owners.

Do I Need A Living Trust?

Monday, September 26th, 2022

While creating a will is an important and well-known part of estate planning, to make sure your assets and loved ones are truly protected when it comes to Mississippi estate law, looking into a living trust might be the appropriate next step.

Gun Trusts: Targeted Estate Planning

Friday, March 18th, 2022

If you have a gun collection, your estate plan may be missing the mark if it fails to include a specially drafted gun trust. The typical estate plan provides for tax saving strategies, probate avoidance and beneficiary designation of various assets. However, some assets pose additional issues that must be carefully addressed to avoid unintended consequences in the future. Firearms, in particular, are regulated under federal and state laws and demand careful attention from your estate planning attorney.

Does My Business Need a Registered Agent?

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

A registered agent is someone that you as a business owner designate to accept legal papers if your company is sued or named in any type of administrative agency case. If your business is legally established within a state in which you don’t maintain a physical presence, you are often required to appoint a registered agent that is physically located within its borders

8 Things to Consider When Selecting a Caregiver for Your Senior Parent

Thursday, January 13th, 2022

As a child of a senior citizen, you are faced with many choices in helping to care for your parent. You want the very best care for your mother or father, but you also have to take into consideration your personal needs, family obligations and finances.

When choosing a caregiver for a loved one, there are a number of things to take into consideration.

Do I need to file a DBA for my small business?

Friday, December 17th, 2021

Selecting a name for your business can be challenging. It must be unique, memorable and representative of your product or service. Depending on the name you ultimately choose, you may also need to file for a DBA.

Simply defined, DBA stands for “Doing Business As.” A DBA is a fictitious business name, also referred to as an assumed business name, that differs from the personal name of the owner(s) or the official name of a registered corporation. For example, if Patricia Smith is a sole proprietor and opens her bakery under the name of Patty’s Cakes, the bakery would have an assumed name because it is not the owner’s legal name.

Medicare vs. Medicaid: Similarities and Differences

Friday, November 26th, 2021

With such similar sounding names, many Americans mistake Medicare and Medicaid programs for one another, or presume the programs are as similar as their names. While both are government-run programs, there are many important differences. Medicare provides senior citizens, the disabled and the blind with medical benefits. Medicaid, on the other hand, provides healthcare benefits for those with little to no income.

People. The Essential Component of Your Estate Plan’s Success

Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Properly drafted estate planning documents are integral to the success of your legacy and end-of-life wishes. Iron-clad estate planning documents, written by a knowledgeable attorney can make the difference between the success and failure of having your wishes carried out. However, there’s more to estate planning than paperwork. For your wishes to have the best chance of being honored, it is important to carefully choose the people who will carry them out.

Preparing Your Family for an Emergency during School Hours

Monday, September 20th, 2021

Every family should establish a clear plan to handle an emergency that occurs during school hours. Unfortunately, many parents mistakenly believe that filling out the school’s emergency card is sufficient. Sadly, this practice falls far short of what is truly necessary to protect your children in the event something tragic happens to you during the school day.

Avoid Family Feuds through Proper Estate Planning

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

A family feud over an inheritance is not a game and there is no prize package at the end of the show. Rather, disputes over who gets your property after your death can drag on for years and deplete your entire estate. When most people are preparing their estate plans, they execute wills and living trusts that focus on minimizing taxes or avoiding probate. However, this process should also involve laying the groundwork for your estate to be settled amicably and according to your wishes. Communication with your loved ones is key to accomplishing this goal.

Planning Pitfall: Probate vs. Non-Probate Property

Monday, July 19th, 2021

Transfer of property at death can be rather complex.  Many are under the impression that instructions provided in a valid will are sufficient to transfer their assets to the individuals named in the will.   However, there are a myriad of rules that affect how different types of assets transfer to heirs and beneficiaries, often in direct contradiction of what may be clearly stated in one’s will.

8 Reasons Young People Should Write a Last Will and Testament

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

Imagine if writing a last will and testament were a pre-requisite to graduating from high school. The graduate walks across the stage, hands the completed will to the principal, and gets the diploma in return. It might sound strange because most 18 year olds have little in terms of assets but it’s a good idea for all adults to draft a last will and testament.

You’ve Finally Done Your Healthcare Directives – Now What?

Monday, May 10th, 2021

Healthcare directives are vitally important. These important documents can mean the difference between your health care wishes being carried out or family members fighting over whether a loved one should be placed in a nursing home or removed from life support. Healthcare directives usually include both a healthcare power of attorney and a living will, or a form which is a combination of the two. In a healthcare power of attorney, an individual authorizes another individual to make healthcare decisions for him or her if the individual becomes unable to do so. A living will expresses an individual’s preferences about life support.

Umbrella Insurance: What It Is and Why You Need It

Monday, April 19th, 2021

Lawsuits are everywhere. What happens when you are found to be at fault in an accident, and a significant judgment is entered against you? A child dives head-first into the shallow end of your swimming pool, becomes paralyzed, and needs in-home medical care for the rest of his or her lifetime. Or, you accidentally rear-end a high-income executive, whose injuries prevent him or her from returning to work. Either of these situations could easily result in judgments or settlements that far exceed the limits of your primary home or auto insurance policies. Without additional coverage, your life savings could be wiped out with the stroke of a judge’s pen.

If You're 70 and Have Considerable Assets, Should You Consider Medicaid Planning?

Monday, March 8th, 2021

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to implement Medicaid planning.  If you’re in good health, now would be the prime time to do this planning. The main reason is that any Medicaid planning may entail using an irrevocable trust, or perhaps gifts to your children, which would incur a five-year look back for Medicaid qualification purposes. The use of an irrevocable trust to receive these gifts would provide more protection and in some cases more control for you.

Overview of Life Estates

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Establishing a Life Estate is a relatively simple process in which you transfer your property to your children, while retaining your right to use and live in the property. Life Estates are used to avoid probate, maximize tax benefits and protect the real property from potential long-term care expenses you may incur in your later years. Transferring property into a Life Estate avoids some of the disadvantages of making an outright gift of property to your heirs. However, it is not right for everyone and comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Negotiating a Commercial Lease? Be Sure to Address These Issues

Monday, January 11th, 2021

When it comes time for your business to move into a new commercial space, make sure you consider the terms of your lease agreement from both business and legal perspectives.  While there are some common terms and clauses in many commercial leases, many landlords and property managers incorporate complicated and sometimes unusual terms and conditions.   As you review your commercial lease, pay special attention to the following issues which can greatly affect your legal rights and obligations: