Many people keep things simple when choosing an executor for their estate: They just go with a family member. In a lot of cases, it's actually ideal to use your spouse. After all, your spouse is the one who will see the most dramatic financial changes after you pass away, and he or she has the most invested in the estate with you. Giving the power to determine how assets are divided to anyone else may even offend your spouse.
As estate planning and probate attorneys, we know how hard it is to lose someone you love. Most of us experience overwhelming feelings of grief and loss that can last a long time. We also realize that an unsatisfactory or disappointing final will can add to the stress people feel after a family death.
For Tennessee residents alive today, there has never been more access to information. It is now possible to go online and gain an overwhelming volume of information on virtually every topic. This is an exciting and exhilarating time, but it is also important to keep in mind that the internet cannot replace the skills and training of a legal professional. When it comes to creating one's will, old-fashioned face-to-face communication can yield a better result than online resources.
When people in Tennessee begin to consider the distribution of their estates, they may think the easiest thing to do is to divide their assets evenly among their beneficiaries. While this approach may simplify the process for the individual or couple making the plan, it may actually complicate the lives of the beneficiaries. There are some family situations that require more careful thought when making decisions concerning a will or trust.
As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, an estimated 3.5 million Boomers will enter retirement each year, in Tennessee and across the nation. As those individuals grow older, their personal needs will shift and change. In many cases, the provisions laid out within their will and other estate planning documents will also need to evolve. Nowhere is this more true than in regard to the designation of personal agents to handle health and financial decisions.
One aspect of estate planning that is often overlooked involves setting aside provisions to ensure that an individual is properly cared for as he or she ages. Many people will require some form of assisted living care as they move through the later stages of life. Having long-term care insurance in place can help ensure that such coverage can be obtained if and when the need should arise. Many Tennessee residents do not think about including a power of attorney authorization in conjunction with long-term care insurance, but doing so is a savvy planning choice.
Many of us don't go far without our cellphones. As a matter of fact, you could be reading this blog post on your phone right now. Without these little devices, we wouldn't be able to text, check our email, take photos or read the news nearly as quickly or easily.
In matters of estate planning, some Tennessee residents may get hung up on the semantics. When some people hear the word estate, they may envision large homes with lush lawns and a few luxury vehicles parked in the garage. In reality, however, an estate is simply the collective assets held by an individual at the time of his or her death. Protecting your family may require a change of perspective in regard to estates and estate planning.
A great deal has been written and debated concerning the impact that the Baby Boomer generation has had on American society and the economy. As this generation nears or begins retirement, Boomers in Tennessee and across the nation are turning their attention toward estate planning measures. If you are a member of this generation, protecting your family may be the central focus of your estate planning, and you may have a unique set of needs in that regard.
When people are young, the last thing on their minds is the risk of falling ill or becoming seriously injured. Youth carries a sense of invincibility, which often extends until a person becomes a parent and begins to consider the many and varied ways that incapacitation can occur. Having a plan in place that will direct the course of one's care is an important component of Tennessee estate planning, and it is one that should be addressed in early adulthood.