Knoxville Elder Law Attorney Felicia Coalson

Privately owned entities and high net worth individuals often have unique strategic life planning needs and circumstances.  No two situations are ever the same.  As such, planning for the eventual transition of assets and care for aging family members often go hand-in-hand.  In closely-held enterprises, the business or professional practice usually comprises the bulk of an estate and serve as the primary source of family income.

In order to plan for the inevitable transition of a business or business equity, along with other assets, a host of issues and subsequent contingencies must be factored into the life planning process.  Probate Litigation, Conservatorships, Estate Administrative Services, Medicaid Planning, Life Planning, Estate Planning, Income Tax Planning, and Nursing Home Representation are but a few of the issues to consider.  Thought must sometimes also be given to the needs of less mobile people regarding care and comfort should they decide to remain at home.

Blended families, families with special needs members, minor children and treatment for children involved and uninvolved in the family business always offer interesting challenges. Frequently, the need exists to balance assets among family members.

Often, we encounter a family business with multiple children.  Some of the children may be in the business while others have chosen other pursuits. Typically, the business represents the major share of estate value, so the issue can become a very sensitive balancing act. As we have been told on multiple occasions, “I love each of my children equally.  How do I reward the one who chose to come into the business with me without slighting the one who didn’t?”  The question grows exponentially difficult when the goal is to retain the business in the family.

Regrettably, there are also those instances when family members are at odds with one another during the estate settlement process.  All too common, these situations can become very volatile and require guidance, patience, and understanding in order to help people through the changes that are inevitable with such transitions.

Managing the legal aspects associated with elder law and transitioning assets is only part of the process.  Frequently, possessing the ability to understand and manage people is what truly adds value to the relationship and helps to reduce the associated stress and uneasiness when dealing with such sensitive issues.

Felicia Coalson, one of our partners and the head of our Elder Law Department, has over 10 years of experience in dealing with questions and issues exactly like this. Her experience has proven invaluable time after time when resolving such complex estate and elder needs issues. Combined with the corporate talents of Stephanie Coleman, another of our 4 partners, they work together seamlessly to solve very intricate matters for private business entities.  It is this coordinated, cohesive approach to estate and elder management that helps to avoid many of the pitfalls confronting the planning process.