Thursday, 30 October 2014
Why Bother with Estate Planning While I'm Young and Broke?

There is a common myth that estate planning is only for the elderly or the wealthy; maybe even only the elderly and wealthy.  This myth shows that few really know what estate planning involves.  Here is a hint: it's more than wills.

  1. Do you own anything? Then you need an estate plan.

Although the word "estate" sounds formal, an estate is simply what you own.  Most, if not all, people own something that they want to go to a specific person when they pass away. Whether that is a sentimental token, a family heirloom, a photo, or a pet, you probably have at least one item that you want to go to someone in particular. It does not matter the monetary value of that item, you have the right to choose where that item goes. The problem is that if you do not have a plan for the stuff that you own, no matter how much or little you own, the laws of your state will determine where that property goes.  If you are single and childless, that probably means your parents will suddenly own everything to which you lay claim. More importantly, if you have children, I'm sure you want to be the one to choose who would be the guardian of your children, rather than the State of Tennessee choosing for you.

  1. Estate planning is more than wills.

How will anyone know your healthcare wishes if you are not able to communicate them? Who do you want making healthcare decisions for you if you are not able to do so? Who will keep up with your financial matters if you are not able to do so? All of these questions are answered in a comprehensive estate plan. For example, in a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare you are able to choose a person that you would like to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot. It also allows you to name a person (or persons) who will have access to your medical documents if you are hospitalized and unable to give the hospital permission. Similarly, a Living Will allows you to put your wishes for medical treatment in writing so that there are no questions if you are unable to communicate them. For financial and other matters, you can create a Durable General Power of Attorney to designate a person to sign on your behalf in financial matters.

For better or worse, life is uncertain at any age. Have a plan in place.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal matters Call Us: 615.444.2345 or Contact Us Here

Posted on 10/30/2014 4:20 PM by Erika Piland
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Don't Wait: Plan Your Estate

I don't have children or money, therefore I don't need to worry about estate planning right now. I am young, I have plenty of time to deal with estate planning. Estate planning is so expensive.

These are common misconceptions about the law of estate planning. The truth is, estate planning is for everyone and doesn't have to be expensive.

The Basics' of Estate Planning. In the most basic terms, estate planning is a set of legal documents spelling out how you want to be cared for, and to whom and how you want your assets to be divided should you not be able to speak for yourself. These legal documents include your last will and testament, a living will, appointment of a general power of attorney and a health care agent. While each document serves a different purpose, together they empower another person to make decisions in regards to your assets, care and the care of your family in the event you are unable to.  

Estate Planning Is For Everyone. When most people hear the words "estate" or "estate planning" they conjure up an image of someone who is retiring with money or a family planning for their children. However, what most people don't realize is that no matter how large or how modest - nearly everyone has an estate to be planned for including you.

So what is in your estate? In the most basic terms, your "estate" is comprised of everything you own your home, other real estate, car, furniture, checking and savings account, life insurance, your valuables, etc. Therefore, whether you are single, married, divorced, widowed, or have children, you have an estate and can benefit from estate planning.

Estate Planning Does Not Have To Be Expensive. If you can't afford a lavish estate plan, it is important that don't put it off all together. Instead, start with a plan you can afford. For a single adult or young family, this could mean just having your basic will, health care plan and power of attorney in place. Over time, as your needs change, family change and assets grow, you can expand on your plan.

How To Get Started. The first thing to do when planning what to do with your estate is to determine what your wishes are and who you want to carry out those wishes in the case you are unable to. From there it is important to have an open conversation with your loved ones about your wishes. Next it is important to find an estate planning attorney who can help advise you on your situation. Your attorney will draft all of your estate planning documents to make sure you are taken care of no matter what life throws your way.

The Peace of Mind Benefit. The best benefit of estate planning is the peace of mind you will have knowing there is a proper plan in place for you and your family should something happen to you. If you would like to speak with a Tennessee estate planning attorney regarding your estate plan, be sure to contact us at Tressler & Associates. After all, the best gift you can give your family is the peace of mind they deserve.  

If you have any questions about this or any other legal matters Call Us: 615.444.2345 or Contact Us Here

Posted on 10/02/2014 4:07 PM by Brittany Dugas
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