Hodges, Doughty & Carson’s experienced trust, estate, and taxation lawyers ensure that your legacy is preserved by crafting and administering estate plans that protect your assets, provide security for your family, and minimize taxes. Our services provide a structure that offers peace of mind to you and your family. It is never too early to consult with a lawyer about the benefits of an estate plan that will protect you and your family in the event of death or incapacity.
The lawyers in our Estate Planning, Estate Administration, and Taxation Practice Group represent individuals in preparing estate plans, individual and corporate fiduciaries in administering estates and trusts, and beneficiaries and fiduciaries in trust and estate controversies and litigation. We also represent those seeking conservatorships for their family members and loved ones who cannot make health care and financial decisions on their own.
We prepare estate planning documents including wills, revocable living trusts, trusts, special needs trusts, life insurance trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives.
Estate Planning, Estate Administration & Taxation Practice Areas
Meet The Estate Planning, Estate Administration & Taxation Team
Call us today at 865-292-2307 to schedule an initial consultation. Contact us for more details.
Our attorneys who practice in this area:
I am grateful…
for the great support, patience and efficiency that you provided in these difficult times.
— Former Client
Preserving and protecting your wealth is essential for you and your family’s future. The appropriate vehicles for protecting your assets will depend on your level of risk and your short-term and long-term goals. Our lawyers have the experience and knowledge to recommend the most appropriate strategies for managing and safeguarding your property, your businesses, and your investments.
Our lawyers routinely employ risk management strategies including asset protection trusts, spendthrift trusts, life insurance trusts, and limited liability companies. The Tennessee Investment Services Trust, which is Tennessee’s version of an asset protection trust, is a flexible tool in managing risk and preserving assets.
Business Succession Planning
As a business owner, you and your trusted team handle every aspect of your operations. Have you considered what will happen when you are ready to retire? What will happen if one of your key employees leaves your company? Who will manage your business if an owner, member, or shareholder becomes disabled?
Our lawyers help business clients plan for the future — the future they dream of and the one they never expected. With a formal business succession plan in place, you, your family, and your employees can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from certainty.
Conservatorships & Guardianships
Conservatorships and guardianships offer legal protection for individuals who cannot care for themselves or make their own decisions. An incapacitated person may require a conservator for their assets, their personal and medical decisions, or both. A minor may require a guardian to manage his or her affairs.
Guardianships and conservatorships are complex and often contentious. Our lawyers attempt to simplify the proceedings while protecting assets and preserving the dignity of the person with a disability. We also counsel guardians and conservators and assist with the stringent reporting and documentation requirements imposed on court appointed fiduciaries.
Estate & Trust Administration & Probate
If you are responsible for the administration of an estate or trust, a probate attorney can help ensure the legal disposition of assets and provide advice regarding your duties and responsibilities to the beneficiaries. Our trust and estate lawyers frequently provide counsel to executors, administrators, and trustees. We assist with routine and complex probate matters by probating the decedent’s will and representing fiduciaries in probate court. We also represent beneficiaries to ensure their beneficial interests are protected during the administration of an estate or trust.
Estate & Trust Litigation
Upon the passing of a family member, emotions can overshadow the legal aspects of probate. Sometimes, the surviving family members disregard the decedent’s wishes. These legally complex situations may require the assistance of an estate or trust attorney, especially if legal action is necessary.
Estate and trust litigation is also necessary in those cases when misappropriation, fraud, or mismanagement compromises the distribution of assets. In such cases, litigation may provide the most effective way to recover lost assets or damages.
We frequently represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in litigation where the validity of the will or trust is in dispute or the terms of the will or trust are ambiguous and require judicial interpretation.
When an individual assumes the fiduciary role of a trustee, guardian, or executor, he or she must faithfully execute the requisite legal duties. The resulting level of risk and legal exposure leaves the fiduciary vulnerable to claims and litigation.
Our lawyers have knowledge and experience in matters of trust and estate law. This background allows our attorneys to provide appropriate guidance and advisement to protect your interest and minimize the risk of litigation or claims.
Nonprofit entities and organizations must comply with many complex legal requirements in their formation and operation. Our lawyers assist clients with forming nonprofit entities, including filing the appropriate documents with the State of Tennessee and the Internal Revenue Service.
We provide advice throughout the lifecycle of nonprofit organizations from startup and organization, to operations, governance, and grantmaking, to mergers, acquisitions, dissolution, and termination. We represent nonprofit entities before the Internal Revenue Service and state and local boards, including the Tennessee Department of Revenue, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Board of Equalization. Our lawyers provide tax advice regarding applications for exemption, excise taxes, and grantmaking policies. We also provide advice to officers and directors regarding best practices for maintaining legal compliance and nonprofit status.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements provide a legal and effective means of protecting the assets of one or both parties in a marriage. Antenuptial agreements are also effective for protecting individuals from debts and legal liabilities incurred by their spouse during the marriage.
Our estate planning and family law attorneys work collaboratively to draft and negotiate agreements that preserve your assets. A properly executed prenuptial agreement can offer security to you and your family and preserve family harmony.
Taxation issues related to estate planning, administration, and inheritance can pose complex challenges that potentially erode the value of your assets. Our taxation attorneys assist clients in developing effective tax strategies to maximize asset preservation and protection.
Potential strategies include establishing trusts and similar vehicles for sheltering assets, planning tax-free gifts, and prefunding educational and health care benefits. Our taxation lawyers will provide advisement and representation tailored to your needs to provide a truly customized solution.
Our lawyers represent individuals, entities, estates, and charitable organizations before the Internal Revenue Service and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.