Many Tennessee residents may not know whether they really need an estate plan. You may have recently asked yourself this question and now want information that may help you decide whether creating a plan is in your interests. In a general sense, if you are an adult and own any property, you need an estate plan.
Sometimes, the mistaken belief that only wealthy individuals need to create a plan can cause people to brush off having a plan of their own. However, an estate plan goes far beyond just your assets, and you may have a greater need for one now than you imagined.
Is planning really that important?
Though having assets is certainly something that can trigger a need for an estate plan, other details can, too. Starting with your property, you likely do not want just anyone staking claim to your assets. Having a will or other planning documents in place could allow you to decide who gets what. Of course, you may not have strong feelings about who inherits your property.
Even if you do not have specific wishes for asset distribution, you may still benefit from a plan. Some ways that putting your wishes in legally binding documents could help include the following:
- You could explain how you want any medical procedures handled in the event that you become incapacitated.
- You could appoint a trusted person to handle your medical decisions and financial decisions after an incapacitating event.
- You could better ensure your privacy and that of your family by taking steps to avoid probate.
- You could name a guardian for any minor children you have so that they will have someone to take care of them in the event of your passing.
- You could make sure to take care of your children’s specific needs in the future, especially if you have a child with a disability or other special needs.
These are only a few of the many reasons that creating an estate plan could benefit you. The important detail to remember is that you have the ability to say who gets what and who can make vital decisions about your life. Not having these plans leaves much more up to chance, and matters could go in a direction you would not want. As a result, you may want to look into your planning options and determine what tools could help you express your wishes.