Welcome to Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC
Our firm is committed to providing you with a personalized estate plan built for your individual and specific needs. We understand that every client’s situation is different, and that not all plans work for every person. We know how difficult it can be to discuss these personal matters, and want you to feel comfortable talking to us, so we can face these issues regarding you and your family together. Our main goal after every meeting is that you leave our office aware of your options and with the confidence to make an educated decision about you and your family’s future.
Let us Sweat the Small Stuff
Estate Planning. You may be wondering... Why not just “do it online?”
Every person is unique. Every couple has different concerns. Every parent worries about some things for one child and other things for another child. When we first sit down with folks they almost always want to know why we ask certain questions.
It’s very simple: We know what to look for and what to be worried about.
Online “estate plans” don’t ask these questions. They can’t uncover whether a Will based plan or a Trust based plan is right for you. Online services can’t determine whether what you plan to do will disqualify you for Medicaid (TennCare), or whether you need an Irrevocable Trust, or an Annuity, or whether you will cause a disaster for a loved one because you should have used a Special Needs Trust.
It’s simple. At Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC we take the time to ask questions that may not even occur to you. We help eliminate fear and minimize your stress. Every day we get up in the morning with a passion to help people who are concerned about losing everything they’ve worked for to the government, to a nursing home, or to a lawsuit. Often families prefer that loved ones remain at home rather than go to a nursing home. We can help guide you through the ins and outs of Medicaid, veterans, or other government benefits. You might be amazed at options that you didn’t even know existed.
Or maybe you have a small business and want to make sure it passes down to your kids in the most tax advantaged way possible. You may also want to learn more about ways to immediately protect your business from your creditors (or your partner’s) while at the same time, protecting your personal assets from your business’ creditors.
We also work with other law firms that do not focus in this area or who would like to know more about the ins and outs of Medicaid, estate, asset protection, and tax planning. If you are a professional, we encourage you to contact us to identify how best we can support you and the clients you serve.
What We Do
- Estate Planning Services – We explore each client’s goals and counsel clients on the identification of issues and the design of the plan. We also ensure each individual client estate plans is signed correctly signed and, when appropriate, funded. Estate Planning Services, essentially fall into one of the following categories:
- Traditional Planning – Wills, Health Care Proxies, Living Wills, Power of Attorneys, Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts.
- Modern Planning – Each of the following has unique challenges that require special attention. Single people, unmarried couples, blended families, LGBTQ, and planning for pets.
- Medicaid Planning – Pre-crisis planning pertaining to protection of assets from Nursing Homes and ensure eligibility for Medicaid if needed.
- Asset Protection Planning – We advise clients and help them design strategies to Protect of assets from the Government, Taxes, Lawsuits, and Nursing Homes, divorce, bad business ventures and predators.
- Business Succession Planning – You’ve worked hard to build your business. We can guide you through protection of your business interests and ensure that you have an effective plan in place to continue business if a key person becomes incapacitated or dies. There are number of strategies available and we will work with your CPA or financial advisor to explore tax efficient options to either sell your business and minimize taxes or transfer it to next generation and to preserve their financial security.
- Medicaid Qualification – We analyze each prospective applicant’s unique situation regarding Medicaid Qualification (TennCare) and provide a detailed asset protection recommendation. When the time is appropriate (it’s always better to pre-plan), we prepare and submit applications to the Tennessee Healthcare and Finance Administration. We not only provide all required information, but we respond to inquiries from Medicaid (TennCare) related to both institutional and community Medicaid (TennCare) applicants.
- Special Needs Trusts / Guardianship / Future Care Planning – Planning is a must when beneficiaries of a Trust or Will include individuals are disabled and/or incompetent. Even a small, but well-intentioned, gift or bequest can disqualify a disabled or incompetent person from receiving critical assistance.
- Probate – We handle all matters related to the submission of Wills to Chancery (or other appropriate court), including Letters Testamentary, Appointment of Executor and administration of the estate.
- Trust Administration – We advise Trustees on redistribution of trust assets after the death of the grantor to establish post death trusts in accordance with Trustor’s wishes.
- Advanced Tax Planning – With the federal estate tax exclusion at $5.45 million and the elimination of the Tennessee estate states, fewer folks who need assistance with estate taxes than in the past. Still, a small business, significant life insurance policy, along with your home could push you close to the limit. So, it’ such better to ask and be sure than to guess. Advanced strategies are available that will allow you minimize taxes yet allow you to enjoy both control and security.