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A Letter of Instruction Can Spare Your Heirs Great Stress

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Sep 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

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:

Who Gets Copies of the Will After a Person Dies?

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Aug 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

Many movies and television shows have a scene where a family gathers around a big table after a relative has died to listen to the reading of the will. While this makes for a dramatic scene, one that may have been more common when literacy rates were lower, it doesn't usually happen this way in the modern world. There is no requirement that a will be read out loud to anyone. So what does happen with the will?

Estate Planning When You Live in Two States

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Aug 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

While you should not need a separate will or trust for a second state, your power of attorney and health care proxy may be a different story. Financial and health care institutions are used to the documents used in their states and may refuse to honor out-of-state documents. In the case of health care proxies, other states may use different terms for the document, such as “durable power of attorney for health care” or “advance directive.” (And the people reviewing your power of attorney or health care proxy may not be well versed in constitutional law.)

Can I Disinherit My Spouse in Tennessee?

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Aug 05, 2020 | 0 Comments

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.

Is Assisted Suicide Legal in Tennessee?

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jul 30, 2020 | 1 Comment

Occasionally we are asked whether assisted suicide is allowed in Tennessee. It is a fair question, because "helping" someone to take his or her own life IS considered murder in every state, absent a statute to the contrary. There are only a handful of states that have statutes that allow assisted suicide. As of this writing (July 30, 2020) those states are Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, and New Jersey.

How Secure Is Social Security?

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jul 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

For years people have been worried about Social Security’s future, but what is the actual outlook? According to the federal government, unless Congress acts to intervene, Social Security shortfalls are expected beginning in 2035

Unique Planning Opportunity for Disabled or Chronically Ill Beneficiaries

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jul 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

Under the new rules of the SECURE Act, one category of individuals who are still entitled to the financial benefit of stretching distributions from the account over their life expectancy include beneficiaries of the retirement account who are disabled or chronically ill. This is a huge benefit and advantage for those disabled or chronically ill beneficiaries, possibly over other beneficiaries you may have.

DIY Estate Planning Mistake #16: How to Help an Elderly Parent Manage Credit Card Account the Right Way

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jul 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

Just like it is a bad idea to add yourself (you being the adult child, friend or other helper) to the elder's bank accounts as a co-owner, it is a bad idea to add yourself to the elder's credit card accounts as an "authorized user". That method "works", but there's a downside, which is the elder's credit card account will now appear on YOUR credit report. If they have a high balance compared to the available credit, or just a high balance in general, or a poor payment history, these things could negatively affect YOUR credit score.

Biden’s Income and Estate Tax Rates

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jul 06, 2020 | 1 Comment

I always tell clients to plan for today but be prepared to make changes as circumstances change. If Joe Biden is elected as our next President (2020 election), clients of estate planning attorneys across the country will have a lot of unfavorable changes to accommodate. The changes will almost certainly have a detrimental impact on capital investment in the US.

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