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Nashville Estate Administration Law Blog

2 reasons to talk to your kids about their inheritance

When it comes to divulging your estate plans to your children, you might be tempted to keep it a secret -- and you won't be alone. Many parents would rather not have such heavy discussion with their kids. Perhaps you don't want to make your children feel bad by talking about your death. Or, maybe you're worried that your children will react badly to your estate plans and disagree with the way you hope to divvy up your estate.

If you're feeling like this -- or if you don't want to talk with your kids for some other reason -- you would be well-served to put these feelings aside. There are two extremely important reasons why you will want to have "the talk" as soon as possible from an estate planning perspective:

A few important facts about wills

If you're creating a basic estate plan, the most important document you'll need to execute is your last will and testament. Your will establishes guidelines for the dispensation of your estate assets and achieves other important things.

Here are a few things you might want to know about wills:

Things to remember about a living will

When creating an estate plan, you'll spend most your time thinking about what will happen to your assets, such as your home and bank accounts, after your death.

While it's important to focus on these things, you also need to think about your health and well-being while you are alive. And this is where a living will comes into play.

A few ways you might be able to contest a will

If you're not happy with the way you were treated in your loved one's will, don't feel guilty or bad. It could be that the will was not legally valid. It could be that the will was not what your loved one actually wanted. It could be that you have a viable will contest claim to make that would allow you to receive your just inheritance.

Here are a few common reasons for a will to be invalid:

Cryptocurrency billionaire dead just before going to rehab

The billionaire cryptocurrency investor Matthew Mellon was found dead at a hotel room in Cancun only a day before he was supposed to check into a drug rehab facility. The facility said that the man arrived in Cancun with an entourage on a private plane last Sunday, but he never made it to the rehab center.

Reports indicate that Mellon checked into a Cancun hotel the night before he was scheduled to report to the rehab facility, Clear Sky Recovery. However, he was found dead at his hotel the following morning on April 16. Mellon had intended to use the controversial ibogaine drug in his addiction therapy. Ibogaine is banned in the United States.

These children of celebrities inherited more than you realize

Just like everyone else who is planning their estates, celebrities know that they "can't take it with them." For this reason, the smartest celebrities create a detailed estate plan that ensures their children are properly taken care of when they're gone. That said, you might be surprised by just how well-taken care of some children of celebrities actually are.

There are a few celebrity inheritance figures that will probably surprise you. These include:

Have you included digital assets in your estate plan?

Although many people are shutting down their social media accounts in the wake of the recent Facebook scandal, the majority of people have continued their online presence. However, the way we use digital accounts is not only related to social media.

Most of us also have online banking accounts, online digital storage accounts and some of us even have cryptocurrency coins worth thousands of dollars in cryptographic and online blockchain wallets.

Could your family benefit from a spendthrift trust?

Imagine you're a multimillionaire with a son who has an addiction problem. Imagine you have $700,000 saved in the bank and your daughter is a shopaholic who couldn't save a penny if her life depended on it. In these situations, if you're wondering how to set up your estate plan, you might want to consider a spendthrift trust.

A spendthrift trust is exactly what you've heard about in the movies. It is a trust fund that slowly doles out the inheritance of a particular beneficiary over time. Perhaps it gives your heir $3,000 per month for the rest of his or her life. Perhaps it gives your heir $1,000 a month for the rest of his or her life. Then, if there's any money left over, the balance could go to the charity of your choice.

Does Tennessee law support the creation of a pet trust?

According to Tennessee trust laws, animal lovers can use a trust to pay for the care of their animals after they have passed away. These so-called "pet trusts" terminate when the animal dies, or -- in cases where the trust offers care to more than one animal -- the trust terminates when the last surviving animal dies. These trusts, however, may not last longer than 90 years.

Here are some of the provisions included in Tennessee's "pet trust" law:

  • Animal owners can create a pet trust to care for an animal or multiple animals for up to 90 years. The trust will terminate upon the death of the last surviving animal associated with the trust.
  • The following individuals can enforce the terms of the pet trust so long as the trust has appointed them: a trust protector, a trust advisor or other individuals appointed by the trust. If no person has been appointed, the court will do so.
  • Individuals who are interested in the well-being of the animals covered by the trust can petition the court to remove a specifically appointed person and appoint a new person to enforce the trust terms.
  • The property held inside a pet trust may only be used as the trust intends it to be used, unless the trust property has a value that goes beyond its intended use. In such a case, the extra property will be distributed to the successors of the trust creator.

The primary reasons to contest a will

Just because a Tennessee resident appears to have signed and dated a will, it does not mean that the will is going to be valid. There are a lot of rules and regulations that go into the validation of a will, and there are many ways that such a document could be contested in court. Following are some of the primary reasons for contesting a will:

Lack of testamentary capacity: The primary factor in having "testamentary capacity." That refers to the legal grounds to draft and file a will, Was the person 18 years old at the time that he or she drafted the will in question? If the answer is yes, testamentary capacity is likely to exist. However, the adult might not have testamentary capacity if he or she was not mentally sound enough to understand the will in question at the time it was executed. In this respect, an individual could lose testamentary capacity if he or she was suffering from insanity, dementia, senility or some other condition that renders him or her mentally incapacitated.

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