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Unique Family Situation Gets Creative Solution

October 18, 2021

When you think about estate planning, you might imagine a lawyer drafting wills and other legal documents. And yes, we do that. But if your vision of a trusts and estates lawyer ends there, you certainly have not received great estate planning. Truly great estate planning requires your lawyer to understand your personal and financial circumstances at a deep level, including, especially, their most unorthodox aspects. With that information in hand, they can then perform their most critical function: designing creative solutions that meet their clients’ specific needs. And sometimes, those creative solutions will be just as unorthodox as their client’s circumstances.

Case in point: Two sisters who are Smith Legacy Law litigation clients needed to update their personal estate planning documents. The sisters jointly own real property and both own shares of the same business. They are also helping to raise the child of one of the sisters.

To address this unique situation, Smith Legacy Law took a creative approach and recommended joint estate planning (more specifically, joint trust planning) for the sisters. Typically, that strategy is reserved for married couples, and would not be appropriate for siblings. But in this unique case—where the siblings owned their major assets jointly and a joint trust provided the most efficient way to distribute them—there was no reason not to use that vehicle. Except, that is, a lack of imagination.

This type of creative problem solving, anchored by an in-depth understanding of the client’s unique situation, is a hallmark of Smith Legacy Law’s “Lawyers for Life” philosophy.

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