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.
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.
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.
Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. These multi-generational living arrangements present legal and financial challenges around home ownership.
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.
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".
More and more transactions are done digitally, but estate planning has lagged behind technology. That may be changing, though. Electronic wills are gaining legitimacy.
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.
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.
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.
As more and more people marry more than once, prenuptial agreements have become an important estate planning tool.
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:
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.
Who Owns Funds Held in a Tennessee Multi-Owner or Joint Account After One of the Account Owners Dies?
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:
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.
Crossville, Tennnessee Will and Trust Lawyer Discusses Estate Planning for First Responders and Law Enforcement
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.
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
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...
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make sure your valuables, mementos, and family heirlooms are handed down to the right person (or organization) who will really appreciate them. Failing to memorialize your wishes in a comprehensive estate plan with a will and/or trust results in intestate succession—the state’s best guess at what you would have wanted to be done with your things.
In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or trust despite the fact that 76% viewed them as important. Many of the respondents said this was due to procrastination, but many others mistakenly believed that it was not necessary because they did not have many assets.