Many people look upon estate planning as a thing of dread, a thing which must be completed at some point, but never today. Far too many people will procrastinate in taking the steps toward completing the necessary, important, and rewarding process of estate planning, whether it’s because they feel overwhelmed by the steps involved, they don’t know where to begin, they don’t want to face the reality of death, or they’re unable to reach an agreement with their loved ones on the terms of an estate plan. Some people operate under the assumption that they’re too young to need one, but the reality is that accidents can happen to anyone at any time, and often when we least expect it. Rather than push off the inevitable, face it head on with an estate planning attorney in Franklin, Tennessee who will sit down with you, carefully review all the aspects of your life relevant to the estate planning process, discuss your goals and values, and take care of the more complicated aspects of the paperwork involved.
One of the primary reasons people feel overwhelmed by the process of estate planning is because they simply don’t have a good grasp on what it entails and what each document will provide for them. Read on to establish some foundational knowledge that will give you the motivation and confidence to complete your estate plan and ensure the well-being of your loved ones after you pass.
What Documents Comprise A Typical Estate Plan?
While the documents in an estate plan will vary based on your individual needs, desires, and circumstances, there are a few that exist within almost every estate plan. A will is one such document, and it will provide you with the ability to name the person you’d like to have in charge of the estate plan when you pass. It will also allow you to name who you want your property to end up with, and whether or not you’d like to apportion any part of your estate to a charity or organization. Having a will is essential to ensuring that you control where your assets end up after your death; if you die before creating one, the state of Tennessee will have jurisdiction to decide what happens to your estate. In the hands of a capable estate planning attorney, you can rest assured knowing that your will is completed and executed properly and that the life you’ve built in Franklin doesn’t land in the hands of the state after you pass.
A power of attorney document is also a primary component of most estate plans, and will allow you to plan for any unfortunate event or process which might leave you unable to make decisions regarding your assets or financial affairs. By planning ahead of time, you will be able to choose—after careful consideration—the person you would trust to make decisions on your behalf. Obtaining the assistance of a qualified attorney in Franklin, Tennessee will be very helpful in the accurate and timely completion of a power of attorney document.
The third component of a thorough estate plan is a living will, which allows you to state your preferences in terms of life-saving medical treatment and end-of-life care. Closely related to a living will is a durable power of attorney for health care, which is similar to a financial power of attorney in that it will allow you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you, should you be unable. However, the person granted authority under a durable power of attorney for health care would be specifically in charge of executing medical and end-of-life decisions in accordance with your living will. In Tennessee, living wills and durable power of attorney for health care documents can sometimes be combined into a single form called an advance care plan. Completing these documents could prove crucial to the well-being of the loved ones who will be by your side in a medical emergency, and an experienced estate planning attorney in Franklin, Tennessee can make sure that everything is done properly.
I Own A Business In Franklin, Tennessee; How Can An Estate Plan Help Me Protect It Once I’ve Passed?
Owning a business is hard work, and something to pride yourself on. However, without the proper documents in place, you risk losing it all and being unable to ensure that it continues on as you wish once you’ve passed. A business succession plan is something that can be drafted during the estate planning process with the aid of a seasoned attorney. It will function as a way for business owners to plan for the continuation, management, and associated arrangements in the event that they die unexpectedly or become unable to continue operating the business or making decisions regarding the business. A business succession plan can also arrange for new ownership or management to take place at a particular point in the future. The right estate planning attorney will be able to review all the details of your company in Franklin, Tennessee and draft an appropriate plan with your input every step of the way.
Is An Estate Planning Attorney Really Necessary?
Estate plans deal with serious matters—matters of life and death. They can also become quite complex based on the circumstances, types of assets, and needs of the individual. Due to the specificity of the law that applies in Franklin, Tennessee regarding who can be granted medical or financial decision-making authority, how certain assets must be handled, what makes a will valid, and many other subtleties that can arise, having an attorney who is extremely comfortable with the estate planning process is one of the greatest assets you can have, especially considering that just one small error can render a plan invalid.