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The Envelope Please . . .


This is about the moment when the 55-year-old, visibly healthy-looking bread winner of the family collapsed at work and was hauled off by the EMS to the emergency room and appeared to be in a coma.

It looked grim. The guy had been hit by a massive stroke. The family naturally gets into a tizzy about what will happen next are in a panic. The people are work wondered what would come of them and the business.

But there was this “envelope” that he had told his chief assistant, his wife and his oldest son about. They grabbed the “envelope”. It had his living will and advanced directives in there. There was a sheet of paper containing all his account numbers for every kind of retirement and bank account, C.D., life insurance and disability insurance information and his agent’s cell phone number. All his personal user names and passwords for every credit card account and even the information to be able to access his social media accounts like F.B., LinkedIn and Twitter. His attorney information was in there too, but the family knew who that was because every two years they all sat together for an hour to make sure was known about the plan in place. The attorney had set up everything right. The main people at work knew that they were going to stick with the company because they had all agreed to a succession plan that rewarded them for sticking with the family while the disposition of the business was decided. Everybody would still get paid this Friday, just like normal. You see, this person was prepared for the unexpected and wanted all his teammates and family to be fine and move forward if something happened to him.

Now they all felt worried and concerned about their boss, father, brother and husband, but there was no wondering what would happen. They could just sit by his side as the doctors worked their hardest to produce a miracle for the patient.

As miracles would have it, three weeks later the lucky man was back at work and they had not missed a beat. They had not applied to work at other places and every teammate seemed more loyal than ever having survived the scare. But they also admired their boss for taking such good care of them.

This is what we all should have prepared for ourselves. A personal note. My best friend had his super-healthy 82 years old dad die several years ago. This is how well-prepared his dad was. It was smooth. Also, the tax savings due to the professional handling by his estate tax and financial plan was amazing.

Not like my dad, who died suddenly at age 53 without a will. Or, my mom who died having exhausted all her life’s wealth on long-term care. I love them both, that was not what they intended to do. My mom and dad were loving, dedicated parents and they were heroes to me. They were as smart as anybody and lived a life of great intentions. But, it happened the way it happened.

I am proud to be prepared because of what I learned.

Jeff Annis

Around the Web: Relying Only on a Will is Common Mistake


Many people make the mistake of assuming that a written will is all they need for their estate plan. Unfortunately, the truth is you can’t rely solely on a will to tie up all of your loose ends when you’re gone. While it is essential, a will simply isn’t enough.

This article is one in a series from Forbes contributor Bob Carlson that highlights the most frequent mistakes people make when planning their estate. The first mistake most people make? Relying only on a will.

“A complete estate plan includes key documents that might be needed before your passing, such as a power of attorney and advanced medical directive,” Carlson writes. “These documents empower one or more people to make decisions and take actions regarding your assets or medical care when you aren’t able to.”

Another thing to consider when planning your estate are trusts, which are very flexible and can protect your assets while maintaining privacy. Trusts, according to Carlson, often surpass wills as key documents in estate plans.

It’s easy to procrastinate planning your estate, but it can become an issue in the case of a sudden health crisis. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact us today to get on the right track with your estate planning.

Around the Web: SNL Amazon Echo Spoof


We thought this video was too funny not to share and thought some of our clients might just relate!

4 Key Benefits Of Having Your Estate Attorney Set Up A Trust

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4 Key Benefits Of Having Your Estate Attorney Set Up A Trust

Planning your relative’s estate can be a difficult and emotional topic.

This difficulty, along with the amount of legal understanding involved make it necessary for you to hire an estate attorney.

When you contact an estate attorney, make sure to have them put together a trust. Forming a trust is one of the best ways to handle an estate, and estate lawyers are the most qualified to put them together.

If you’re on the fence about this and want to learn why you should have an attorney set up a trust, start with these four points below.

Your Estate Attorney Can Help You to (Legally) Avoid Taxes

One of the foundational principles of wealth is minimizing taxes whenever you can.

This remains every bit as true when dealing with handling an estate. You’ll want to avoid heavy estate taxation when getting an inheritance so that you can use the money however you need.

That’s where an estate attorney comes into play.

These lawyers will help you to shield the estate from taxes. They will first and foremost take an all-encompassing look at the estate and then determine how much tax liability you owe.

From here, they’ll work diligently to reduce the tax bill altogether.

Helps Prevent Litigation

While going through the estate process is also matched with grieving, it’s important to know that it’s not uncommon to get sued during this time.

People might contest the delegation of a will, which leaves you open to months or years of more litigation.

When you have an estate attorney put together a trust for you, the likelihood of having it contested is dramatically reduced.

Hashing out the legal matters on the front end in the form of a trust makes the important details ironclad and much harder to contest.

You Will Get Your Inheritance Faster

The last thing you would want is to have your inheritance tied up as the details are hashed out.

When you have a lawyer a trust, the inheritance process is streamlined, which is good for you and everyone with a claim to the estate.

This is especially important if you plan to invest your inheritance or otherwise use it.

For instance, many people use their inheritance to pay off student debt, open their own company, invest in stocks and other investments or become a homeowner for the first time.

Your lawyer will also be able to advise you on these matters of investment and the implications that come with each option. They can also point you toward financial experts in their network that can be helpful.

These Documents Are Of Life Changing Importance

Because these legal matters literally change the course of lives, it doesn’t make sense to go about them alone.

Having an attorney on your side that handles estate trusts lessens the burden tremendously. This is why estate attorneys like Audrey Rhodes, of Rhodes Law Firm, PC, work diligently to create these trusts.

If you’re interested in a trust and don’t know where to start, get in touch with us today.

Meet Our New Associate Attorney – Colby!

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At Rhodes Law Firm, we would like to share with you our newest member to the team – Colby Bouchillon, Associate Attorney!

About Colby

Colby is a native of Aiken, South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina – Aiken in December 2013. She continued her education at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta to earn a Juris Doctor degree in 2017.

Colby is a member of the Augusta Bar Association and is licensed to practice in Georgia. Her areas of focus are:

In her free time, you can find Colby rooting on the Atlanta Falcons or spending time with her nieces and nephew!


Around the Web: More Than Just Your Will

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You’ve created your will, and everything is in place. That’s great; you are ahead of the game more than you may realize. However, what if your will isn’t the only document you need to ensure your end-of-life wishes?

Documents to Consider

This article from USA Today suggests that there are other documents you may need to consider having to make any other areas are covered that lead up to what is, essentially, inevitable. Amy Florian, chief executive of Corgenius, provides readers with additional documents to have on hand:

  • A living will
  • POLST, which stands for “physician orders for life sustaining treatment”
  • Having a power of attorney for healthcare/healthcare proxy
  • Appoint a durable power of attorney
  • DNR/DNI orders
  • Diminishing capacity letters
  • Organ donor designation
  • Life insurance
  • A personal property memorandum
  • A digital assets memorandum
  • A collection of relevant information

To take the burden off the family, Florian recommends to have the necessary documents in one place.

For more information on how to get started, contact us today!

Around The Web: How Should I Invest My Inheritance?

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Like most people, you probably have two main lists: Wants vs. Needs. You have your bills, weekly trips to the grocery store, car maintenance appointments, and so forth. However, you also have your eye set on a new boat, or a more luxurious car with all the bells and whistles even though your current vehicle is in perfect condition. Even now, don’t you think we have a tendency to put those wants before needs? But what if you had a lot more money?

Where to Start With Your Newly Acquired Inheritance

Let’s say you’ve recently received an inheritance, and you’re not exactly sure how to invest that money wisely. With the lists of things you want and need to pay for, you might find yourself in a tricky spot on what to put your money towards first. You don’t want to blow through the money that’s been left especially for you, right?

CNN Money released an article this month giving tips about (especially those who have or will be receiving an inheritance) how to prioritize the things that honestly should be paid first.

  1. Pay off student debt faster
  2. Use the money for a down payment on a house
  3. Open a business
  4. Save more for retirement
  5. Invest for long-term goals

Elder Law Attorneys: To Hire or Not Hire?

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Have you ever looked at a Medicaid form, Long Term Care insurance costs, or tried to write your own will and asked, “What does this mean?”

Probably so. There are many areas when planning for your future that can become confusing and frustrating. With that said, you run the risk of potential errors that can really make things difficult down the road. This is why we recommend hiring an elder law attorney.

Elder Law

For those who aren’t entirely sure of what what that is, elder law is an area of legal practice that specializes on issues that affect the aging population.

Elder law attorneys are here to help with these complex situations. Maybe you’ve gone through a divorce, remarried, have a business, or a spouse that will need long term care in the near future. Tackling these areas on your own can not only be confusing, but highly overwhelming. Hiring an elder law attorney will help ease the stress, avoid potential errors, and when it’s all said and done – give you peace of mind.

Are you and your family ready to start planning ahead in the most effective way? Feel free to contact us to make an appointment. All of us at Rhodes Law Firm are here for you and your family’s needs.


Why Choose Rhodes Law Firm?

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Wouldn’t you rather have an attorney with exceptional credentials and reputation handle some of your life’s most important documents? We would like to believe so. Here is great news for those on the search: Mr. Audrey C. Rhodes, Jr. is the highest rated estate planning attorney in the Augusta, Georgia area!

Aubrey Rhodes, Jr. ensures your estate plan, wills, trusts, and other needs are taken care of to the fullest extent in Augusta, Ga., Aiken, S.C., and surrounding areas.

Education and Experience

After receiving his Bachelor of the Arts from Augusta College (now Augusta University) in 1974, he went on to study law at the University of Georgia and New York University. As you may know, he and his son Daniel currently practice law in both Georgia (office in Martinez) and South Carolina (office in Aiken).

We recommend you choose the right attorney to handle your estate planning, wills, living trusts, and the like.  That’s why you should choose Rhodes Law Firm.

Around the Web: Can’t Save for Retirement? Think Again!

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“Start saving for retirement today!”

What feelings arise after reading that?

For some Americans, positive responses or emotions will follow. However, the rest of full-time American workers – not so much. CareerBuilder sent out a report recently that shows 78% still live paycheck to paycheck. So, the big question here is: How is one supposed to save if there’s no money to actually save?

Ways to Save For Retirement

With discipline and an eye-on-the-prize mentality, there are ways to save for those who live paycheck to paycheck:

  1. Trim Your Spending
  2. Change Your Spending Perspective
  3. Find a Side Gig
  4. Control Your Debt
  5. Use Your Employee Benefits
  6. Open Your Own Savings Vehicle

Follow the link to read the full article on how this can help you get on track with planning for your retirement!

Once you’ve got this in order, you can contact us to get your Estate Plan started!