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Estate Planning & Probate

Why Should You Consider Estate Planning?

Estate planning is an important topic that is ignored and neglected by almost all people. There is a common belief that estate planning is only for the very wealthy and the so-called “one percent,” which is simply untrue. While an estate plan may help minimize estate taxes and other transfer taxes, having an estate plan is important even if your total worth is under the federal estate tax exemption ($11.4 million as of 2019). Tennessee eliminated the state estate tax in 2016.

If you own property, assets, and / or have loved ones dependent on you, you should have an estate plan in place. Although it may be an uncomfortable discussion – after all, no one likes talking about death, let alone their own death – it is essential that you create and discuss an estate plan with yourself, your loved ones, and your attorney. If you fail to plan your estate, then the default rules of law will apply and that may result in many things occurring after your death that are against your will.

First Things First – What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a collection of documents specifying how you want your money and other assets distributed upon your death. Additionally, an estate plan identifies individual(s) to make financial and health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Your estate plan may also instruct others on your preferred end-of-life care, including whether you would like to donate all or some of your organs.

Factors that govern estate planning vary from person to person and take into account the approximate value of your assets, who you want to name as heirs, what tax benefits or consequences there will be for your beneficiaries, how to protect your assets from unforeseen creditors, consideration of future or impending disability, and any other issues that are unique to your personal or family situation.

Even if you already have an estate plan in place, this plan should be reviewed regularly and updated as your circumstances and financial situation evolve, to be sure that your estate plan continues to accurately reflect your wishes.

Who Can Benefit from Having an Estate Plan?

Whether your estate is large or small, you do need an estate plan in order to avoid probate, reduce an inheritance tax bill, prevent costly court proceedings, and preclude the chaos of potential family conflict. Individuals of all ages and in all types of situations can benefit from the advice of a qualified estate planning attorney. These include:

  • Traditional families with minor children who will require provisions for support or who may need protection from outside influences that could deplete financial resources.
  • Blended families who might be conflicted regarding the disposition of assets.
  • Anyone who must consider the disability or impending disability of themselves, a child, or a loved one.
  • Seniors who wish to preserve their assets and provide for retirement.
  • Any person who is in an unwed committed relationship and wants to provide for his/her non-marital partner.
  • Individuals who are recently divorced and need to reassess their financial situation in terms of their property settlement agreement.
  • Single parents who want to provide for and protect their child(ren).
  • Persons who must now consider the disposition of assets once inherited from a deceased spouse.
  • Individuals who have no immediate family but want to designate the division of their assets rather than allow the intestacy laws of their state to govern the disposition.

Don’t procrastinate when it comes to protecting your assets and providing for those you love. Call 615-490-6020 today to schedule an appointment with a Nashville attorney who focuses on estate planning. We are dedicated to serving you personally and efficiently.

Please call our office today at (615) 490-6020 or send a contact message via our website to schedule a consultation so that we can discuss your issues and how we can create a comprehensive plan centered around your needs.

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