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Nashville Estate Administration Law Blog

Adding a no-contest clause can help enforce your decisions

An inheritance can be an exciting idea for your children, which is why you've never taken the time to sit down with them and talk about it. Before you do that, you want to have everything in order, so there is no confusion and can be no complaints.

One of the things you worry about most is that there is the risk that one of your children will contest your will. If any of them aren't happy with your decisions, you worry that they will take the others to court to try to get more than what you left for them.

Ready to make a will? Do you know all the steps?

There are many steps involved in making a will. Fortunately, working with your attorney means that you'll have the right guidance throughout the process.

While some people do use do-it-yourself-style applications to create their wills, it's a better idea to talk to your attorney and have them walk you through the process. When you make your will, you will need to:

  • Select the people you want to have as your beneficiaries
  • Choose an executor
  • Choose guardians for your children or pets
  • Explain who you'd like to have receive what of your property

Yes, you should talk to your heirs about inheritances

You want to leave your children an inheritance to support them after you pass, but you also want to make sure that they won't squander it. You think it would be best not to let them know about it because they won't fight and won't worry about what they want to do with the money or assets once they receive them.

To be honest, it's usually best to talk to your beneficiaries and heirs about your plans before you pass away. Why? If you don't, then they may not know what your true intentions are in passing these assets on.

Gifting can reduce the value of your estate to avoid taxation

You have people who you'd like to have become your heirs and beneficiaries. You want to leave them behind a true legacy. You have trusts in their names, and you have an estate that can continue to grow long after you've gone.

Heirs and beneficiaries are lucky people who are granted assets from their loved ones. It's important that they know what to do with assets to protect them and to make the most of this inheritance. Fortunately, you've thought ahead about setting aside trusts, but another thing you might want to consider is direct gifting.

What has to happen for a will to be valid?

It's hard to imagine someone you love passing away, but it does happen. When it does, you may be the person who is assigned to help execute the individual's will.

Before any will can be executed, it needs to be proven to be valid. All wills have a few things that must be present. These things include:

  • A valid signature
  • A voluntary signature
  • Being of a legal age (18 or older) when signing
  • Having testamentary capacity
  • Properly disposing of the testator's property
  • Witnesses (at least two other parties) as well as being dated

What's a good way to leave behind an inheritance?

Inheritances are left behind by a person who wants their loved ones to have a piece of their life. An inheritance is not just an asset or an amount of money, it's a gift that should be respected and appreciated.

There are many times when people who are setting up their estate plans want to leave behind inheritances but are worried about how to do so without causing problems. Leaving a large inheritance to one person while seemingly overlooking another could be detrimental to the family on the whole, for example.

Why is an estate plan so important for heirs?

There are many different things to consider when you are planning your estate. Every estate has different factors that could play a role in an estate plan's development.

Creating your estate plan can be a complex task, and it can be emotionally overwhelming in some cases. It's a good idea to work with someone who has created estate plans in the past if you're worried about making sure that your plan minimizes taxes, communicates your wishes clearly and helps you avoid mistakes or unwanted complications.

Take steps to plan for yoru estate's final bills

When you pass away, do you know what debts you'll leave behind? Do you know how your family will be affected or how those debts will be paid?

If you don't have a living trust at the time of your death, your estate will move into probate to help sort everything out. Probate is a process that helps pay off your debts and expenses, transfers your property and completes other actions.

Should you discuss your estate plan with your family?

If there is one big question that people ask when deciding to leave behind inheritances, it's this: Should you tell those receiving inheritances that you're leaving them assets?

It can be a hard decision to make. Should you let someone know that you're planning to give them something when you die? Should you simply put the correct documents in place to pass on your assets when you die instead of telling them outright?

Why should you try to avoid probate?

Probate is the legal process of transferring property from your estate to another party following your death. Laws associated with probate have changed over the years. They continue to change. This is why attorneys generally advise you to review your estate plan at least during major life changes.

Probate is a time-intensive, court-supervised program. The program helps figure out which beneficiaries are receiving which assets, and it helps resolve the estate. Property in the estate with no designated owner will have to go through probate, where a judge will determine the appropriate heir.

When you need legal help, we are here for you.

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