Estate Planning for Those Under 35

If you are under 35, chances are you have given very little thought to your own estate planning.  Most people in the group known as “Millennials” are involved in work and volunteering.  They’ve not had to think about the need for a Will.  Sometimes it takes the unexpected death of a family member or friend to bring the reality of our mortality into sharp focus.  The arrival of a baby can awaken us to the need to plan for the care of this new life if the unthinkable happens.  [Read more…]

If You Die Without a Will, You Die Intestate – Why Does It Matter?

In 2012 AARP polled 600 baby boomers and found that 41% did not have a Will. If 41% of boomers do not have a Will at the time of their death, they will have died intestate. Let’s look at the complications this can create for their families.

In Tennessee when you die intestate, the assets that you own in your sole name (no joint owner) pass to your closest living relative(s). Jointly owned assets pass to the surviving joint owner. Assets controlled by a beneficiary designation (life insurance, retirement plans, etc.) will be distributed to the beneficiary. The problem comes with assets that have neither a joint owner nor a beneficiary. Those assets will pass by the Tennessee laws of intestate succession.  [Read more…]

The Cost of Settling an Estate

What does Estate Settlement Cost?

Unless you have observed an estate settlement close at hand, you may be unaware of the costs of settling an estate after someone’s death.  Every estate is different in terms of the assets and financial obligations of the deceased, so the costs described below will not apply to everyone.  The costs include paying debts incurred during the deceased person’s lifetime, as well as taxes and costs incurred as a result of the death.  [Read more…]