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Estate planning can shift after a serious illness or injury

Most Tennessee residents think about their estate plan in terms of how they can best hand down assets to the people they love. They envision those plans being brought to fruition after a long and happy life. In reality, however, no one knows how much time they have, and whether they will encounter a serious illness or injury as they age. When such an event takes place, estate planning needs will shift, and families must be willing to revisit the issue.

For example, consider a family with young children. If the primary breadwinner is seriously injured in an auto accident, he or she may be unable to support the family financially. At that point, financial planning will shift to replacing that lost income while attending to the needs of the injured party. If the situation persists, estate planning should also be revisited.

If the injured parent requires ongoing medical care or might require residential care, provisions must be made so that such care is available even after the other spouse passes away. This can be accomplished by creating a trust to provide for medical and living expenses. That trust can be structured in a way that allows the assets to pass down to the children in the event that the parent does not need to access those funds prior to death.

When a Tennessee family goes through a difficult experience, such as a debilitating injury, it is important to reevaluate all financial matters to determine if any changes are called for. In terms of estate planning, ensuring the continuation of care becomes a priority for such families. An estate planning attorney can assist in mapping out the best possible means of ensuring that quality care will be available if and when needed.

Source: Forbes, "8 Reasons to Revise Your Estate Plan Today", Mark Eghrari, Jan. 28, 2016

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