Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Mar 22, 2023 |
Estate planning, or legacy planning, entails preparing your affairs for the future, including death and other life events. While older adults might give more thought to estate planning, it is an essential tool at any age.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Dec 23, 2022 |
A diagnosis of dementia, a category of diseases affecting memory and thinking that includes Alzheimer’s disease, can feel overwhelming and upsetting. You might worry that you will lose control over your life and ability to make your own decisions. Fortunately, receiving a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s does not mean that you cannot execute legal documents or make decisions about plans for your future finances and health care.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 07, 2022 |
It is hard to know what documents to trash and when. Before you know it, your spare room, office, basement, or garage is overflowing with boxes of papers that all seem important.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Sep 23, 2022 |
Even if you've created an estate plan, are you sure you included everything you need to? There are certain provisions that people often forget to put in a will or estate plan that can have a big impact on a family.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jul 28, 2021 |
All trusts should be reviewed every few years to make sure that they are up-to-date with the law and meet your current goals. Following is a checklist of trust features you can review yourself.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jun 23, 2021 |
Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. These multi-generational living arrangements present legal and financial challenges around home ownership.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | May 19, 2021 |
Don’t assume your estate will automatically go to your spouse when you die. If you don’t have an estate plan, your spouse may have to share your estate with other family members.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | May 05, 2021 |
I review a lot of existing estate plans, and I see a lot of estate plans that are terrible and beyond repair. Why? Sometimes the reason is they were created by a "trust mill".
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jan 27, 2021 |
More and more transactions are done digitally, but estate planning has lagged behind technology. That may be changing, though. Electronic wills are gaining legitimacy.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jan 20, 2021 |
Many people believe that if they are single, they don't need a will or other estate planning documents. But estate planning is just as important for single people as it is for couples and families.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jan 13, 2021 |
Allocating your personal possessions can be one of the most difficult tasks when creating an estate plan. To avoid family feuds after you are gone, it is important to have a plan and make your wishes clear.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Nov 25, 2020 |
There are many unknowns when planning an estate, but you can’t let the uncertainties get in the way of creating any kind of plan. Having an imperfect plan is usually better than having no plan at all.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Sep 16, 2020 |
As more and more people marry more than once, prenuptial agreements have become an important estate planning tool.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Sep 02, 2020 |
A letter of instruction is a legally non-binding document that gives your heirs information crucial to helping them tie up your affairs. Without such a letter, it can be easy for heirs to miss important items or become overwhelmed trying to sort through all the documents you left behind. The following are some items that can be included in a letter:
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Aug 05, 2020 |
The way to disinherit a surviving spouse in Tennessee is to avoid creating a probate estate. If there is no probate estate, then there is no elective share. The important thing to understand is that simply making a will that disinherits a surviving spouse will NOT work to disinherit the surviving spouse.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | May 11, 2020 |
This question comes up a lot, but usually after one of the owners has died, unfortunately. I write "unfortunately", because more often than not result is not what the true account holder intended, and this results in a lot of family strife at a time when stress levels are high. The answer to this question is, as usual, it depends. Tennessee law is very clear on this, but usually when people open these types of accounts aren't particularly clear on what it means. Here are the options that the bank should offer you when you are opening an account in the names of two or more persons (or adding a person to an account formerly held by only one person) and what each option means:
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Mar 09, 2020 |
Although some people are under the impression that things like planning an estate or creating a trust are for those with a lot of money and property, this is completely untrue. An estate planning attorney can assist you with creating basic but essential documents, including healthcare directives and a power of attorney which everyone, regardless of financial status, should have.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Feb 10, 2020 |
People have many reasons why they put off estate planning. Maybe they’re young and healthy and don’t think they need to worry about that any time soon. Others find the whole idea uncomfortable, the idea of death and what would happen to their loved ones. But no matter where you are in life, you should have your estate plan in place. This applies especially to first responders and law enforcement.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jan 06, 2020 |
As 2019 draws to a close, it may be time to take a fresh look at your financial and legal documents to ensure that your affairs are in order and that you are ending the year on a solid foundation
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Dec 16, 2019 |
It is rather common these days here in Fairfield Glade and Crossville, Tennessee for a married couple to reside in a home that is the separate property of one spouse, and often the owner has children from a previous marriage or relationship. The owner of the home ultimately wants to leave the ho...
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Nov 15, 2019 |
I answer a lot of "Ask A Lawyer" questions online. Here is one that came up recently (slightly edited for spelling and grammar): "My mom moved from GA to NC with me. We recently went to get a new license plate for her but we could not because the title of her car had her name and her deceased husband's name on it with no "and/or" beside the name. The plate office told us to go to the clerk of court with a will and death certificate. When we got to the clerk of court they told us we had to go to GA as the title was in GA. However, we are a minimum of 4 hours from GA. Is there anything else we can do switch the title without taking a long trip?"
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Nov 11, 2019 |
There are lots of misconceptions about estate planning, and any one of them can result in costly mistakes. Understanding who needs an estate plan and what it should cover is key to creating a plan that is right for you.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 28, 2019 |
Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is protect children and other loved ones from themselves. You might want to make sure that your children are financially secure during their lifetime or that your nephew’s education is paid for. Whatever your goals are, a proper estate plan can put provisions in place to make sure your loved ones are provided for, rather than having their inheritance squandered on a Ferrari, seized by a creditor, or given to an ex-spouse during a divorce.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 25, 2019 |
A comprehensive estate plan can contain your wishes with as much detail as you want, including instructions for your funeral or memorial service. Make sure your family has a chance to remember and celebrate your life instead of placing the burden of arranging final plans—like what song will be playing at your funeral—on your already grieving loved ones.
Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 24, 2019 |
You’re a unique individual with your own wishes, hopes, and dreams. Should a will that works for a single, 20-something be the same one used for a well-invested grandparent of 12? You’ve worked hard to create the life you have—make sure you trust your planning to an experienced estate planning attorney and not a fill-in-the-blank, cookie-cutter document generator (you know you’ve heard of them) with a final product resembling a Mad Lib game.