Creating a well-crafted and comprehensive will is an important step within the estate planning process. However, it is not the only requirement to ensure that a Tennessee resident's assets are properly distributed upon his or her death. In order to have the instructions laid out within a will followed, it is necessary to select the right executor.
When considering the creation of an estate plan, many Tennessee residents are drawn to joint ownership. This approach allows individuals to add the name of a desired heir to the title of certain assets during the original owner's lifetime. Many choose this approach in the belief that it is a simpler way to transfer assets upon death. In reality, however, joint ownership is often a poor choice for protecting your family.
Many Tennessee residents are aware of the existence of various types of trusts, but are unsure which trust structure might be right for their unique set of needs. For those who are seeking an effective way to manage the distribution of assets to their intended heirs, a revocable living trust, or RLT, may be a great solution. An RLT is funded in the same way as many other types of trusts, with assets that are titled to belong to the trust itself, and not the individuals creating the RLT.
Before the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the focus of most estate planning was placed on reducing the burden imposed by the estate tax. Currently, however, only those individuals whose wealth exceeds $5.43 million have to contend with the estate tax. When seeking options for protecting assets, much of the focus is now placed on avoiding income taxes incurred when a Tennessee heir disposes of inherited property.
Everyone should have a will. True statement? It depends, really. If you don't have a will, state law will take care of your estate, as we saw in our Feb. 28 post. Even so, should everyone have a will?
We recently heard about a life insurance scam that is particularly troubling. To the best of our knowledge, scammers have not tried it in Tennessee, but we want our readers to know about it and to know how to protect themselves from fraudsters.