FAQs - a future we can share.


Families grow and change and so do their concerns and opportunities. Here are a few ways we can help. 



Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process integrates our client's retirement assets as part of our foundational estate planning service. This make us different from what is commonly found in the marketplace. Done properly, retirement plan assets can be controlled by the instructions of your estate plan, protected from future federal estate taxation, and kept within your bloodline. Moreover they can extend  income tax deferral to your children while protecting them from creditors, lawsuit judgments, catastrophic illnesses, remarriage and divorce challenges. Please attend one of our workshops on this topic to learn more.


I want to leave my children more than just my money.


We have produced a great deal of wealth in this country, and the time is nearing to transfer it. It sounds like you want to do do something more. You want to leave a gift. Gifts create and strenghten friendships and legacies, whereas sudden money often creates stress and danger.  Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ participates in what is called the Era of Wealth Reception. Along with our client families we co-create plans to prepare the next generation to recieve their inheritance in the spirit in which it was given. Both the Baby Boom generation and their parent's generation enthusiastically embrace the idea of leaving such gifts because it captures all the facets of an individual’s life, including family traditions and history, sharing stories, values and wishes. These two very different generations overwhelmingly agree that these are more important than simply  leaving money and real estate behind. Please visit our Truth about Estate Planning workshop to learn more about how this can be done.


I am worried about periods of mental incapacity.


This is a big concern. We are living longer these days, but not necessarily better.  Through our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ clients remain in control of their affairs. They decide when they will be considered disabled, and who will care for them. They also control how they and their families will be cared for during these periods. Throughout their period of disability our clients instructions are followed just as if they were fully present. In other words, they remain in control when a loss of control would otherwise be inevitable. This topic is covered in our workshop "How the 5 most common ways to plan meet the 4 challenges of estate planning".


How can I arrange for someone to make healthcare decisions for me?


Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ provides the legal authorization for your chosen representative to speak to a doctor concerning your medical care when you are unable. You may also give your representative the authority to withhold medical treatment  through a Living Will properly drafted and executed according to your state's formalities.


As a service to our clients, we send these documents to your physicians and secure them in an online vault where they can be accessed at a moment's notice. You will never have to "carry" them around with you. 


These documents are an excellent place to express your beliefs about the value and dignity of human life.  As discussed in our workshops These documents are no substitute for having a good conversation with your representative beforehand, so please do so before finalizing your documents if you can. It is also a good idea to tell other family members that you have made these arrangements and to cooperate with your wishes. Like all of our foundational plans, you may change or revoke them at any time.  


I just lost my husband and I am having difficulty adjusting to my new financial responsibilities.


This is a huge change. It is very difficult to be at your best during such a time. Let alone being called upon to make important financial decisons that will likely have long-term effects. Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ includes a service to help you make this transition more smoothly. Financial Transition Counseling is a friendly, low-key process that helps you to work through these periods of change. We are not financial advisors. We simply help you to be at your best when  working with other planning professionals.



Our children are very young. What will happen to them if something happens to us?


This can be a terrifying thought. Nevertheless it need not keep you up at night. If you control the things that you can control, and take care of the important things, you will experience a sense of well-being - even in the face of such unsettling possibilities.


Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ helps you name guardians for your minor children and appoint trustees to manage their assets.  You may also leave a detailed set of instructions for their upbringing and education. During this process, you may also discover you need something more to accomplish your goals. Life insurance can be a great investment in your family's future. 


We don’t want to spend our life savings on nursing home care.


Many people are in your position. They have saved a significant nest egg, but not enough to pay for longterm nursing home care. Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ can help you to get control of your affairs so that if the need should arise your loved ones will know what you own and how you own it. Moreover we can help you protect your assets from an unnecessary spend-down when qualifying for Medicaid and from other creditors and predators.


We have an adult child receiving government assistance. Can we leave her an inheritance without jeopardizing it?


Yes, provided you leave it to her in a protective trust designed for such a purpose. Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ matches the needs of individual family members with the options available to them under the law. The government recognizes a “gap” between what it supplies and what a special needs person actually requires. Therefore it encourages this sort of funding partnership between private/public sources as long as it is done according to government standards.  


I am beginning a career in professional sports, and I want to hold on to my money.


Recognizing this problem is the beginning to a happy ending. For a variety of reasons many professional athletes end up broke after their careers. Even though they may have earned millions of dollars, they often have nothing to live on once their careers are over.  Like lottery winners, they were not prepared for their financial windfall.


Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ gives professional athletes the skills and tools they need to preserve their wealth. When they participate in our Financial Transition Program, they are free to focus on their careers. They also have peace of mind that their families will be cared for properly.  


I don’t want my children hurt by the inheritance I leave them.


How to ensure that an inheritance is a blessing rather than a curse? This concern is shared by many families. Our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™ has many tools to help. It not only maximizes tax savings, and asset protection, it  leaves instructions on how and when the inheritance is to be distributed. Our Wealth Reception Program also helps to create a sense of gratitude and belonging to something bigger. These character traits are recognized as helpful in defeating the spoiling effects of inheritance. Like widows and professional athletes, beneficiaries of inheritances can benefit from the financial transition counseling inherent in our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process. To learn more please register for one of our complimentary workshops.


I want to protect my assets from creditors, lawsuit judgments, divorce, catastrophic illnesses, and remarriages.


Asset protection is a key advantage of our Sideline to Sideline Planning Process™. Register to attend a "How to Protect your 'Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps" workshop and we will tell you more.  

We have a large retirement plan. Will our estate plan control it?


You have worked hard and saved for your retirement. But now you are concerned because your retirement accounts have become your largest asset.  Your concern is a good one. Most estate plans do not control retirement plan assets; they are controled by beneficiary designations. Unless advanced planning has been done in the last few years, it is unlikely your estate plan will control your retirement plan assets.

Godfrey Law Offices

2025 Edison Road

Suite B

South Bend, IN 46637-5607

(Near northwest corner of Edison Rd. and Ironwood Rd.)


T: 574-237-9000
F: 574-237-0902​


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