Practice Areas

Estate Planning

Hull & Chandler, P.A. works diligently to provide clients effective resolutions in an efficient manner. We are available and responsive as we help clients achieve their goals.  Whether you are seeking simple or complex estate planning or Asset Protection, our team has the experience to assist you.

Estate Planning Questionnaire

Estate Planning Questionnaire Married

FAQs


Estate Planning

Hull & Chandler attorneys will assist you with planning and organizing your affairs to ensure proper management in the event of incapacity or death.  We will provide a wide variety of estate planning options adjusted to meet the needs of each individual client. At your confidential initial consultation, we will discuss various estate planning tools and your individual needs. We analyze how you hold title to your assets and may make certain recommendations to ensure they work conjunctively with your estate planning documents.  We will construct an estate plan specific to you and your family’s needs. All our estate planning at Hull & Chandler is conducted on a flat fee basis. Below are examples of some estate planning tools.

 Will

We will draft your Will to establish how you want your assets distributed after your death.  In your Will, you nominate who you want to wind up your estate’s affairs, the personal representative (executor).  You can also nominate a guardian to care for and raise your minor children. We will clearly articulate how your assets will be devised and how your taxes, if any, should be paid.  Hull & Chandler attorneys have extensive years of experience drafting custom Wills. Regardless of the size of your family and assets, you need a Will. However, you should take caution to ensure it is drafted by a competent attorney or else it may cause more damage than good for your loved ones.

 Separate Memorandum

Your Separate Memorandum allows you to specify persons to receive your personal tangible items after your death, such as a watch, grandfather clock or baseball card collection.  These types of assets are usually listed in a Separate Memorandum, rather than a Will, as the Separate Memorandum does not require either witnesses or a notary. Additionally, if you change your mind as to whom should receive a certain asset, you can simply create a new Separate Memorandum rather than have to go through the formalities of executing a new Will.

 Trust

Hull & Chandler attorneys will analyze whether it is appropriate to use a trust as a part of your overall estate plan.  A trust holds assets for certain beneficiaries and/or certain purposes for a selected amount of time. The trust is managed by someone you name to serve as Trustee.

 We will determine whether a Revocable Living Trust (“RLT”) is appropriate for your situation.  As the name implies, an RLT can be amended or revoked at any time while you are alive and have capacity.  We will advise you on when it is appropriate to “fund” your trust through the transfer of assets during life or pursuant to the terms of your Will and designated beneficiary agreements upon your death.  One of the many benefits to an RLT is that you can avoid your estate going through the probate process with the Court, if the RLT is properly funded during your lifetime. We will discuss how your RLT becomes irrevocable upon your death, which provides asset protection for your beneficiaries.

Another alternative that we will discuss is an Irrevocable Trust.  As the name implies, this type of trust is irrevocable, meaning that it cannot be revoked or otherwise terminated.  Hull & Chandler attorneys will advise you on what assets are appropriate to transfer into an irrevocable trust for appropriate asset protection, Medicaid planning or legacy planning, etc.

There are many reasons to create a trust, unique to each client.  One common example is the creation of a trust for minor children. Minors cannot inherit money.  To avoid the funds ended up with an unintended beneficiary and / or court involvement for a guardianship or conservatorship, we utilize a trust to provide funds for the children until they reach a specified age.

Another common example is a legacy trust where you can leave protect an inheritance for the beneficiary.  The funds are for the benefit of beneficiary, but until they are consumed by the beneficiary, they are safe in the trust from creditors, predators, bankruptcy and divorce.  This is a great tool to ensure that your beneficiaries obtain the benefit of the inheritance, not someone else.

We will also analyze whether it is appropriate to draft a Special Needs Trust for a beneficiary who receives disability benefits.  We want to ensure that the beneficiary does not get disqualified from their governmental benefits due to an inheritance.

 General Durable Power of Attorney

We will draft your General Durable Power of Attorney where you (known as the “Principal”) nominate an individual (known as your “Agent”) to handle your financial affairs, should you become incapacitated. Hull & Chandler attorneys will analyze whether your General Durable Power of Attorney should be drafted to include all of your financial affairs or be limited to certain affairs and/or a certain time period.  A General Durable Power of Attorney expires immediately upon the Principal’s death.

 Health Care / Medical Power of Attorney 

Hull & Chandler attorneys will draft your Health Care / Medical Durable Power of Attorney wherein you will nominate an individual (known as your “Agent”) to handle your medical affairs should you become incapacitated. Hull & Chandler will ensure compliance with current HIPAA laws and coordination with your Advanced Medical Directive (also known as a Living Will).  While making these types of decisions can certainly be daunting, it is important and Hull & Chandler will ensure it is done properly. 

 Advanced Medical Directive (Living Will)

Hull & Chandler attorneys can help you create an Advanced Medical Directive, which allows you to establish a length of time you would like to receive life support and/or artificial nourishment should you suffer an injury or illness requiring these medical services.   is an essential document that conveys your wishes to medical professionals. We are careful to align this with your wishes in your Medical Power of Attorney. This is different from a Do Not Resuscitate. This powerful document allows you and your family to have the peace of mind that your wishes will be complied with even when you cannot voice them.

 Disposition of Last Remains 

Your DispositiThison of Last Remains allows you to establish your final resting place.  You can also specify a type of ceremony, flowers, music, etc. Even if you do not have strong thoughts on this, it is helpful to the family when they are simply following your wishes instead of deciding on their own. 

 Business Planning 

Hull & Chandler attorneys will analyze any business ownership you may have and update your business documents, if necessary.  Our experience allows us to ensure that your business documents and estate planning documents are properly synchronized to achieve your goals.  At Hull & Chandler, we take a consultative and leadership role to ensure the proper organization of your business affairs.

Premarital Agreements 

Hull & Chandler attorneys will analyze whether a Premarital Agreement would benefit your overall estate plan.  Hull & Chandler attorneys will advise on how the Premarital Agreement establishes duties and property rights of married couples during the marriage as well as at death or upon divorce.  This is becoming a popular vehicle for persons entering a marriage with children from another relationship due to the legal definition of “marital property”. It is important that you consult an attorney with knowledge of estate planning laws and family laws to ensure this is properly drafted.  We have extensive experience in both and will help you ensure you are properly protected.

Cohabitation Agreements 

Hull & Chandler attorneys will determine if a Cohabitation Agreement to establish the duties and property rights of cohabiting couples would benefit the estate plan.  We draft agreements to establish how assets are held during the relationship and upon death or dissolution of the relationship. Given Colorado’s lenient laws on common law marriage, this document is essential to properly define the relationship.  North Carolina law does not recognize common law marriage. 


Asset Protection

Hull & Chandler attorneys can assist you with organizing your assets to make them less vulnerable to creditors, predators, bankruptcies and divorces.  We provide advice on protecting all types of assets (e.g., cash, stocks, bonds, business interests, and real property). We can recommend the transfer of what might be otherwise non-protected assets into a more protected form.  It is important to conduct such transfers prior to the existence of a potential creditor claim. Attempting to protect assets while a creditor claim is either pending, threatened or expected could expose you (and your attorney) to either civil and/or criminal liability.  Proper asset protection can assist in deterring potential creditors from initiating litigation. All parties involved should utilize competent legal counsel for these decisions.

Typical Forms of Asset Protection

  1. Retitling of certain individually owned assets into Joint Ownership or Tenants in Common.  Depending on the situation, one may have an advantage over the other with respect to certain assets.
  2. Gifting.  Transferring title to someone else’s name.  Obviously, due to potential pitfalls involved with gifting, such transfers must first be extensively analyzed with competent counsel.
  3. Converting non-exempt property to exempt property.  Hull & Chandler attorneys can help you utilize various exemptions, such as the homestead or life insurance exemption to help ensure these types of assets are protected to the fullest extent pursuant to the law.
  4. Insurance.  Ensuring proper insurance policies with appropriate coverage and limits goes a long way in helping to lessen the stress involved with litigation.
  5. Legal entities.  Utilizing legal entities (e.g., a limited partnership or a limited liability company) can be used to diversify and help protect your assets.  In this scenario, assets that would otherwise be attractive to a judgment creditor are rendered unattractive or at least less attractive as the individual no longer directly owns the subject assets.  A creditor must seek to satisfy his or her claim or judgment from the partnership or member interest received in the exchange of assets.
  6. Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (DAPT). Hull & Chandler attorneys can assist in drafting and funding a DAPT subject to the laws of the State of Nevada (which arguably has the strongest level of protection of the 17 states that currently have such a statute).  We will advise how you can (i) create the trust; (ii) fund the trust with a certain level of your individually held assets; and (iii) remain the beneficiary of the trust while protecting your assets from future potential creditors once the applicable statute of limitations period has expired.  We often combine a DAPT with an underlying limited partnership or limited liability company, which can hold certain types of assets and offer an additional level of asset protection. Please feel free to contact us in order to learn more about this highly effective asset protection tool.

Business Succession Planning:

Continuing a business beyond one generation of leaders requires careful planning. Hull & Chandler attorneys will assist you in planning for the transferring of private shares, transferring leadership or winding up the business. We will help you clearly outline who will own and operate the company once the owner no longer serves in a daily capacity to ensure a minimal impact on long-term business profitability. Although business succession planning is a challenge, if properly developed and implemented, an owner will be rewarded with watching the business grow and succeed well into the future. As all business succession plans will have various legal and tax-related consequences, involving a trusted advisor such as an attorney is a prerequisite to ensure that all applicable considerations are properly addressed. Hull & Chandler attorneys can assist you with your business succession planning and ensure it is working in conjunction with your estate plan.


FAQ

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is planning for life and death. First, you establish your current relationships and financial situation. Second, you establish a plan, allowing you to be in control of important decisions in your life, such as who will care for your medical needs and financial needs should you become unable to care for them on your own; how long you’d like to be on life support; who will raise your children if you cannot; who will manage all of these important decisions when you die and where you want your assets to go and how you want them to be utilized before and after death.  We will help you understand what assets might be subject to the probate process and how we can plan to avoid probate.

What documents are included in an estate plan?

A typical estate plan includes six (6) or seven (7) documents:  Will, Separate Memorandum, Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care / Medical Power of Attorney, Advanced Medical Directive, Disposition of Last Remains and potentially a Trust.

Do I need a Will?

Yes.

Should I use fill in the blank forms?

No.  You should consult a qualified attorney.  A poorly drafted Will can cause more problems than not having a will at all.  Hull & Chandler offers free initial consultations to discuss your estate planning.

How do I find a qualified attorney?

We recommend that you seek out an attorney that also does estate administration.  The attorney’s experience in using these documents is invaluable in in their ability to draft the documents.  Also, it is comforting to know that when the documents are called into use your drafting attorney can support and assist the use of the documents.  It is possible to over-draft.  Although we try to draft documents that will last the test of time, it is also important to keep the documents as simple as possible to avoid unintended consequences.

Do I need a trust?

Maybe.  There are several reasons to create a trust.  It is a great idea to consult a qualified attorney to discuss your estate planning goals and determine whether a trust is necessary.  One reason is to avoid probate.  Another reason is to create an entity to hold and distribute assets after you have passed away.  We also use trusts to protect assets.  A trust will allow disabled beneficiaries to keep their benefits and still inherit assets.  Once we establish your intentions, we will draft the terms and conditions of the trust to accomplish your goals.  You dream it and we will draft it.

Do I need a Living Will? 

Yes.  The name causes confusion.  People tend to think a Living Will is a will or a trust. In fact, this document allows you to establish a length of time you would like to receive life support and/or artificial nourishment should you suffer an injury or illness requiring these medical services.  This is an essential document that conveys your wishes to medical professionals. We are careful to align this with your Health Care / Medical Power of Attorney. This is different from a Do Not Resuscitate. This powerful document allows you and your family to have the peace of mind that your wishes will be complied with even when you cannot voice them.

Tammara, Thanks again for your good work in helping my wife & I through the process of updating all our Estate documents. Thank you for being so patient with us as we tried to understand what each of the documents meant, what decisions we needed to make, and explaining in plain English what the confusing legal mumbo-jumbo in the documents actually said. You graciously answered our many questions - and we never felt rushed by you in any way. Bottom line: Thanks so much. You were a great choice for an Estate attorney.
Phil & Mary W.

Estate Planning Attorneys

Tammara L. Bauer

Practice Areas

  • Estate Planning
  • Asset Protection
  • Trust Administration
  • Special Needs planning
  • Probate
  • Protective Proceedings
  • Business Structures

Nathan M. Hull

Practice Areas

Sara Shariff

Practice Areas

Corporate Transactions

Contracts

Business Formation

Mergers & Acquisitions

Estate Planning

Commercial Real Estate