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Attorney Randy Ratliff
Randy Ratliff

Nashville Estate Planning Lawyer

Providing Compassionate Guidance

At the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, our team of knowledgeable professionals is committed to providing each and every client with a personalized estate plan built for their priorities. Each family and each individual has different estate planning needs, and it may sometimes be difficult to talk about personal matters such as marital status, relationships with children and step-children, and business liability concerns. Based in the Nashville area, experienced estate planning attorney Randy Ratliff wants to make sure that a client understands the available options regarding their estate planning, elder law, family law, business succession, or asset protection matter so that a thoughtful, educated decision may be made. We know that one size does not fit all. That’s why you are in control. We will explain your options and help you formulate a plan that meets your needs and your goals.

Constructing a Careful Strategy for Your Future and the Future of Your Loved Ones

In this day and age, it may be tempting to use online resources to draw up one’s own estate plan. However, this is a very risky endeavor. Not only is each person’s situation unique, but also the law of each state has specific provisions that, if not heeded, may render a document void. For example, while Tennessee law recognizes both holographic (handwritten) wills and nuncupative (oral) wills, there are strict requirements and limitations for each of these. A holographic will, for example, must be completely in the handwriting of the testator (the person making the will) and must be signed by them. While no witnesses are necessary, the handwriting must be proven in court by two witnesses in order for the will to be probated. Nuncupative wills are extremely restrictive. They may only be made by a person in imminent peril of death, may only pass personal property worth $1,000 (or $10,000 for those in military service during a time of war), and must be declared before two disinterested witnesses.

Online “estate plans” offer a one-size-fits-all approach that does not consider issues such as whether a particular person’s estate plan should include a will, a testamentary trust, an irrevocable living trust, or a combination of these documents. Online resources also fail to consider issues such as qualification for Medicaid (TennCare), a special needs trust for a disabled child, or tax consequences. Nashville estate planning lawyer Randy Ratliff takes the time to ask the important questions. Working together with your tax professional, we can help ensure that your estate does not pay one dollar more in estate or gift tax than necessary.

Elder Law and Business Succession Planning

We understand and appreciate clients’ worries about losing their hard-earned assets to the government, a nursing home, a divorce, or a lawsuit. In addition to drafting documents such as wills, trusts, health care directives, and powers of attorney, we can help explain and guide a family through the nuances of Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, long-term care planning, or other government benefit programs. We can also assist people who own a small business with formulating a business succession plan that will suit the needs of the business owner’s family and other stakeholders. Randy Ratliff also can devise an asset protection plan that is designed to shield a business owner’s personal assets from creditors and liability lawsuits.

Family Law

We provide representation in family law matters such as divorce or child support proceedings, and we can help prepare documents such as prenuptial agreements. Property division may be contentious during a divorce when both spouses have significant assets. Devising a prenuptial or potentially a postnuptial agreement may help reduce the risk of future uncertainty and conflict by providing that certain assets will be allocated to one spouse or the other. However, it is important to seek legal guidance during this process because prenuptial agreements must meet certain requirements to be enforced by a court.

Consult a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer in Nashville

Thinking about the future may sometimes be difficult. We understand. It is our goal to help each client whom we serve analyze their specific estate planning needs, spot potentially problematic situations, and develop a careful approach to making sure that their wishes are expressed and respected in the future. To get started on protecting your family’s future with a knowledgeable Nashville estate planning attorney, call the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, at 615-656-8282 or contact us online to set up an appointment. We serve people who need estate planning guidance or an elder law attorney in Hermitage, Madison, Antioch, Goodlettsville, Joelton, Franklin, Brentwood, and Cool Springs, as well as other communities in Davidson and Williamson Counties.

  • Randy helped me with my case and was very professional and knowledgeable. I would use him again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend his services.

  • Outstanding to work with. Excellent communication and helpful in understanding ongoing and upcoming processes. Absolutely would recommend. Incredibly professional.

  • I consult with Randy Ratliff on a number of things. He has never lead me down the wrong path or stirred me in the wrong direction with any of my lawyer needs. On top of his knowledgeable expertise in the law department he is also very Intentive and gracious you definitely couldn't go wrong with Randy as your lawyer!

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