Authors: Brad Coppedge

By: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (“UTMA” or the “Act”) of each state provides for the management, use and disposition of property gifted or otherwise transferred to a minor. The provisions of the Act apply to a transfer that makes reference to the Act as adopted by each state (e.g., the “Georgia Transfers to Minors Act”) in the designation of the transfer. These accounts

There have been a lot of changes in the estate tax laws in the last several years.  We now have an exemption amount of $11,180,000, and it is portable between spouses in most instances.  This combination of amount, and portability, has virtually eliminated true “estate tax planning” for the vast majority of individuals. However, there remain individuals with high net worth, for whom “estate tax planning” remains very relevant. 

By: Bradley R. Coppedge Asset Protection Planning is only for the wealthy, right?  No, it can be just as useful for the young couple with relatively little net worth as it is for the multi-millionaire! Asset protection planning does not have to be overly complicated, or overly expensive, to provide you and your family meaningful protections. When you think of Asset Protection Planning, what comes to mind?  Some fancy and complex

By: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq.  1. What is the purpose behind a guardianship or conservatorship? Guardianships and conservatorships are actions of last resort to manage an incompetent or incapacitated person’s personal and financial affairs if that person is unable to do so due to mental or physical illness, disability or incompetency. These proceedings can be used both for incompetent adults (over age 18), and minor children, whether competent or incompetent (under

By: Bradley R. Coppedge A petition for Year’s Support is a proceeding in probate court regarding a decedent’s estate.   It is sometimes used instead of one of the other common procedures to administer an estate or probate a Will, but it is not mutually exclusive of those other proceedings. Some attorneys over use Year’s Support petitions, while other attorneys do not consider  them frequently enough. Let’s start with what it is

By: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. Any estate planning attorney will tell you there are 3 basic components of every estate plan: (i) a valid Last Will & Testament or alternatively a Living Trust, (ii) a Health Directive and (iii) a regular Power of Attorney. As discussed in a prior article, one of the significant benefits of the latter two documents is the ability to avoid the expensive and time consuming

Written by: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. Choice of entity is an important decision not only for a start-up business, but also for an existing business, especially in the family estate planning context. Under current laws in many states, it has become easier and easier to convert from one form of entity to another, oftentimes without tax consequences. In addition, under the federal tax code, generally any entity may elect to

Written by: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. Prelude/Spoiler Alert: Two of my earlier blogs 12-18 months ago mentioned the ‘tie in’ between marital trusts and the exemption amount. The point of both of those, and this article, is that if your Will contains a credit shelter trust (a/k/a “bypass” trust), and/or a marital trust, and is more than a couple or three years old, you should review it. And if its more

By: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. Let’s start with a brief trust primer. Virtually all trusts can be identified as one of two types. A Revocable Trust, or an Irrevocable Trust. Each is exactly what it sounds like. A Revocable Trust may be revoked or terminated after its creation, generally by the person who created it. Conversely, an Irrevocable Trust may generally not be revoked after its creation. (You may hear other terms

by: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. You’ve heard it said that for many people, their house is their largest or most important investment. But for small business owners, his or her business may well take the place of the house as the most important investment. So when it comes to estate planning, what is the best course for the business owner? Gift it to children? Sell or gift it to employees?