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.
As more and more people integrate the Internet into their daily lives, a great deal of human endeavor is stored in a virtual format. We can now amass huge online collections of music, written material and photography, as well as data from a wide array of fields. These online storage vaults can end up holding items that are of significant value, although many in Tennessee fail to recognize that digital assets can be worth a considerable amount of money. The following tips are offered in the hopes of teaching families the best means for protecting assets that are stored online.
In today's economy, many Tennessee residents look for ways to reduce expenses and save their hard-earned money. That means looking for areas in which they can do things for themselves rather than calling in a professional each and every time their car needs minor service or their sink springs a leak. When it comes to estate planning, many people take a similar approach, and they wonder if tackling their own will or other documents could save money while reaching the exact same end result.
The primary focus of most estate plans is the eventual distribution of an individual's accumulated wealth. This is an important topic, as there are a number of issues that should be addressed, including the various tax ramifications of passing down wealth. However, many Tennessee families can benefit from beginning to distribute those assets prior to death, which has a number of advantages to traditional estate planning.
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.