Estate Planning

Power of Attorney vs. Personal Representative

Not many people relish the idea of their death or planning for it. However, it is important to have your affairs in order early. Leaving your family or those you care about unprepared and unequipped to manage your affairs and administer your estate can create a hot mess and ruin relationships. There are two important seats to fill as part of an overall estate plan, both while you are living and after you are gone:  Agent who acts under a Power of Attorney and a Personal Representative.

Living Trusts in Estate Planning

When people think about planning for their death, they usually think of drawing up a will and leaving behind funeral wishes. Too many people fail to realize that a living trust might be a better option than a will simply because they don’t know the difference between the two.

How is a Living Trust Different from a Will?

A living trust and a will are legal documents that tell the courts how to distribute your assets. While their purpose is similar, there are some stark differences between the two. Speaking with a trusted attorney about these differences is important to determine the best option for you. Johnson May Law has an experienced team that is ready to ensure the best decision is made for you. Below are some differences between wills and living trusts to consider.

Estate Planning for Business Owners

Business owners take on immense responsibility every day. From the time a business idea is born to the time the business launches, there is an abundance of planning, dedication, and sacrifice. With this hard work comes a deep sense of pride that is only known and experienced by those who have gone through this process. To ensure that all of that hard work does not unravel when you are no longer in charge, it is vital to have a secure estate plan in place to ensure the smooth and successful transfer of your business.

Succession Planning

When a business owner passes away, the first and most obvious question is: Who will be taking over? With an Estate Plan in place, this question is answered smoothly and the transition can be seamless. Naming an heir to a company allows security within the business, and also allows for the inheritor to be trained and ready to take over when his or her time comes. There are different ways to set up the succession of your business.

What's the Difference Between a CPA and a Tax Attorney?

The thought of tax season can bring on a sense of dread for many people. But there are qualified professionals whose jobs are to help others through the complexities of tax preparations, filings, and payments. In this article, we’ll cover the main differences between two of these professionals: CPAs, or certified public accountants, and tax attorneys. We’ll also discuss how to determine which of these you may need to enlist for help, depending upon your financial circumstances. 

What is a CPA?

A CPA, or certified public accountant, obtains their certification through an intensive course of higher education in managing finances and business records. CPAs are highly familiar with federal and state tax laws and will not only help their clients to abide by all laws and regulations, but also strictly abide by regulations that apply to their certifications as well.

Why Should I Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?

If the thought of writing your will or planning the distribution of your assets after death makes you feel a bit on edge, you’re not alone. You don’t have to do it alone either—and frankly, you probably shouldn’t do it alone. Estate planning is a detailed, time-consuming process that will have a major impact on your family, friends, and causes long after you pass away. 

What’s more? Everyone has an estate, no matter how small or modest it may be. Have a car? That’s an estate. Have a bank account? Ditto. In this article, we’ll review what estate planning entails, who should have an estate plan, and why you should hire an estate planning attorney.

7 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes

Johnson May’s Sheli Fulcher Koontz gives insight on some of the BIGGEST mistakes people make when people put together their wills and trusts! Let her share with you what to avoid and what to include!

Below is an edited transcript of the video. 


Welcome to this estate planning 101 class. Today, we're going to cover some mistakes people commonly make with estate planning in about 30 minutes. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, estate planning has become more relevant, so let's dive in.

Firstly, I want to provide a legal disclaimer. Everything I'm about to share is not legal advice but general information. If you have specific questions, feel free to reach out to our office for personalized advice. Now, let's proceed.

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