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Let Your Business Be Our Business

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At Rhodes Law Firm, we’re especially known for our heavy focus on Estate Planning, Elder Law, Long Term Planning, and those alike. But with many of our clients, their business is also a major component in putting together the rest of their planning.

Let your bank, financial adviser, or brokerage firm help you with the financial planning aspects of your estate. You need a qualified estate planning lawyer to draft the legal documents that create an estate plan for you. A qualified attorney, like those at Rhodes Law Firm, will work with your financial adviser and accountant to create the best plan for you!

Here’s a quick list (but not limited to) of how we can represent your business:
• Startup assistance
• Buy/sell agreements
• Contract review
• Transition planning
• Purchase and sale of business

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Around the Web: Retirement Advice from a Boomer to a Millennial

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Thankfully, Millennials are beginning to catch on to the importance of starting a retirement fund as soon as possible. But if you are reaching retirement soon, you may feel obligated to make sure that your surrounding young co-workers are up-to-speed on this topic.

There are several experiences and tips to share in order to make it seem a bit more realistic than just the idea of planning for retirement; and there certainly various ways to approach this subject instead of coming across as “that codger in the office everyone avoids…” as this article puts it.

Be the bearer of helpful tips and words of wisdom to our younger generations!

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Around the Web: Five Ways to Bulletproof Your Estate Plan

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Taking care of your estate plan early on is a great decision, without a doubt. There’s really no such thing as starting early with this. However, sometimes in life we think we’ve got our “ducks in a row” and somehow something goes wrong.

In this article, you’ll find great ways to make sure that the above doesn’t happen to you and your estate plan, by essentially making it bulletproof:

  1. Have a pre-paid, pre-planned funeral
  2. Set up a family committee to manage your revocable trust
  3. Have different lawyers develop a plan for you and your spouse
  4. Don’t underestimate your life expectancy
  5. Match your lifestyle to your income in retirement

There are always nooks and crannies that many people forget about, or not even think about at all! Click here to read further, and to make sure it’s unstoppable!

 

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To: Our Grandchildren, From: Your Grandparents

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You’ve already designated amongst your children and siblings who receives your assets, but are having difficulty with what to leave your grandchildren. There are several ways to gift your assets to your grandchildren while making sure there are no misuse of funds. You wouldn’t want to leave them “x” amount of money for higher education and it be used for something else, right?

Here are some of those ways to make sure your grandchildren get the most out of your gift(s):
• Whether the grandchild attends a private school, or planning to attend college in the future, you can set up a plan to pay that school directly.
• If there are any medical expenses for the grandchild, you can set up those payments similarly to educational costs. Just be sure to pay the medical provider directly.
• You can set up an IRA or savings bond.
• Transfer money into a trust.

Your overall goal is to ensure that the money/assets you leave behind will be properly used and essentially not wasted. The perks for you (besides knowing your grandchildren will benefit from it) are that this gift-giving can decrease your estate size and tax. There also may be no gift tax!

To further learn how to get started and what the best route is for your gifting of assets, contact us today!

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Around the Web: For the Blended Family

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Estate planning is complicated as it is – sorting through and designating your assets to whomever. But picture a family where both spouses have been previously married with children. Now imagine this already-combined family having a child or more children together. It seems like things are beginning to look more complicated, right?

When a family is as complicated as this (regarding who gets what assets) it’s highly possible to cause hurt feelings and/or conflict.

Read on for the appropriate avenue(s) in which to make this process as stress-free as possible.

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May is National Elder Law Month

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Now that April showers have come and passed, and May flowers are blooming right before our eyes, we welcome National Elder Law Month!

The month of May was designated as National Elder Law Month back in 1987 by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. In that time, there was an increasing demand for legal needs pertaining to the senior community, people with special needs, and their families.

As members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Rhodes Law Firm is taking this time to increase community awareness, and to allow our team to assist you and your family with these common issues (but not limited to):

  • Tax Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Long-term Care
  • Social Security
  • Asset Protection
  • Estate and Trust Administration

Call our office to schedule an appointment, and please look through our list of provided services!

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Around the Web: It’s Time to Think Further Ahead, Millennials!

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Generation Y, or more commonly known as Millennials, are reaching the stages in life that include the start of their career, first day of college, buying their first house or car… Let’s just say it’s a lot of “firsts.”

You can imagine when the term estate planning reaches their ears, it doesn’t automatically turn into a priority; what happens is their face goes from normal to confused. Although understandable, it’s certainly a topic that its importance should really be explained thoroughly.

Think about it.

What if there’s a couple in a domestic partnership and something happens to one of them? If there’s not an estate plan intact, the surviving partner has little-to-no say in the matter of what happens to the other’s belongings or finances.

Even for the young families. What’s next if something happens to the parents? Who will step in?

Take a look at the sourced article for further insight on these scenarios, and spread the word that estate planning really shouldn’t begin at the age of 40 or 50, but sooner.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/03/10/millennials-dont-forget-estate-planning/98837054/

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April = National Financial Literacy Month

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As we all know, the month of April is more commonly known for its showers. In the finance world, however, it’s also known as National Financial Literacy Month! It’s a month dedicated to alert, educate, motivate and assist the public to cost-effectively establish and keep their financial and estate plans up-to-date, according to www.estateplanning.com.

They also point out three (3) challenges that Americans face in regards to their financial future, which is why we encourage everyone at any age and any stage of life to start planning:

  1. The majority of Americans lack the ability to adequately plan for retirement as most Americans over 65 are totally dependent on Social Security.
  2. It is estimated that we 120,000,000 Americans do not have an up-to-date estate plan to protect themselves and their families.
  3. Many people mistakenly believe that because they are not “rich,” they do not need to do any estate and financial planning.

To help you get started on your financial/estate planning journey, please contact us. Each month we have in-person workshops, as well as full online workshops if you are not able to attend.

Source: https://www.estateplanning.com/event/April-is-National-Financial-Literacy-Month/

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We have some exciting news!

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In case you haven’t heard… we have an announcement!

As of January 1, 2017, J. Daniel Rhodes has become a partner in our firm. Congratulations Daniel!

Daniel Rhodes is an Augusta native, with strong ties to the community. In his practice, Mr. Rhodes primarily focuses on estate and probate law, as well as business planning and long-term care asset protection. Mr. Rhodes obtained a Bachelors of Business Administration from The University of Georgia in 2011. He went on to obtain a Juris Doctorate degree from the Charleston School of Law in 2014, where he focused on tax and estate planning law. During law school, Mr. Rhodes was the President of the Tax Law and Estate Planning Society for two years. He is a licensed attorney in both Georgia and South Carolina, and practices at both the Augusta and Aiken branches of the law firm. Mr. Rhodes is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). Though Mr. Rhodes has only been at Rhodes Law Firm in his capacity as an attorney for two years, he has worked at the firm in one capacity or another for over ten years. Mr. Rhodes is a proud Eagle Scout as well as an active member in the Rotary Club of Augusta.

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Estate Planning, Debt and Bankruptcy. Oh my!

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Debt—most people have some sort of debt. That goes without saying some have more than others. Either way, it’s inevitable. What about bankruptcy? It’s certainly more common than you may think, and for several people it’s the best option. You’re probably wondering how do these factor in when you begin your estate planning?

Unfortunate events happen, but there’s a plan to make sure you “cover your bases” before anything like the ones mentioned do.

Estate planning needs to be your first step if you have a family, property and other assets. Depending on how you have your assets set up financially, these could be collected if you pass and leave behind debt, or if you file for bankruptcy. You’ll want to make sure to protect your assets to ensure your family receives what you wish to be passed down.

No one wants to go through a tough battle after hard times like bankruptcy, and especially death. There’s a way to make this process less stressful, and can you peace of mind.

Here are a couple of great readings to help guide you if and/or when these three worlds collide. When you’re ready to make that first crucial step, come see us for your estate planning.

http://www.debtfreecolorado.com/2014/08/07/bankruptcy-retirement-estate-planning/

http://www.cegworldwide.com/resources/expert-team/072-wt-justin-dion-careful-estate-planning-in-bankruptcy

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