Client Feature: CWH Estate Planning Center

CWH EP Pic The CWH Estate Planning Center has been a Buttonwood Business Center client since 2005. Our name back then was “The Estate Planning Center, LLC). We have five office locations: Columbia, Lake Ozark, Chesterfield, Hannibal and Quincy. The Buttonwood Business Center has been excellent to us, and we appreciate the efforts of the staff to provide a quality professional office experience.

Our law firm has been in continuous existence for 136 years.  Attorneys Joseph D. Welch and Crystal M. Gallagher cover the Columbia location at the Buttonwood Business Center.  Both of us practice exclusively in estate planning, which includes conventional estate planning, nursing home planning and elderlaw, asset protection, business formation and maintenance, and real estate transfers.

Joe WelchJoseph D. Welch is the Senior Partner in the law firm of Cary, Welch & Hickman, LLP and the founder of the CWH Estate Planning Center. A busy practitioner for over 35 years, as well as a frequent author and lecturer on estate planning, asset protection, and business succession topics.  Joseph’s clients include professionals, families with special needs children of all ages, farm families, entrepreneurs and business owners, wealthy families with dynasty goals, seniors and young families with minor children.

In describing the practice, Joseph states: “We design and draft many types of trusts, including revocable and irrevocable trusts, living trusts, trusts to protect from nursing home spend down, asset protection trusts, special needs trusts and retirement plan trusts, to name a few.”

“We do not just pull a form off the shelf; each plan is individually designed in conjunction with the client to achieve specific goals,” according to Joseph.  “In addition, every client is offered an array of asset protection and tax elimination techniques with each trust we design.”

crystalCrystal M. Gallagher is an associate attorney in the law firm of Cary, Welch & Hickman, LLP and a member of the CWH Estate Planning Center.  She is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).  Her practice is focused on Elder Law and Medicaid Planning.  Her mission is to assist families in navigating the complex issues involved in long term care solutions for themselves or a loved one.

Crystal enjoys providing community education and helping parents and grandparents reduce financial worries.  She appreciates the opportunity to assist clients to provide an enduring legacy through family-oriented estate plans.

Crystal states: “Long term care insurance is great, but not everyone has it or can get it.  We help people protect their hard – earned assets from nursing home spend down.  Sometimes people are only interested in protecting certain assets, for instance, a home, farm, family business or an investment portfolio, while others choose to protect virtually everything they own.”

“Every estate plan we create addresses the needs of the client.  Many clients choose to divorce-proof their children’s inheritance.  Others choose to implement powerful protections available under Missouri and Federal law for their own assets or that of a spouse,” according to Crystal.

Both Attorneys believe that providing education is an important part of their mission: “Many people think that estate planning is only for the very wealthy.  Sometimes, however, it is even more important if family assets are limited.”  A $200,000 inheritance can be spent to zero in a very short time or it can be left in a highly protected lifetime investment account.  This type of planning is also valuable for very young couples with young children, since a life insurance policy coupled with a superb estate plan can provide important protections in the event of a family tragedy.”

Both attorneys hope to continue their association with other Buttonwood Business Center tenants for years to come.