Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the process of planning for the future of your loved ones. A basic estate planning package includes a Last Will and Testament, a Durable Power of Attorney for financial matters, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, and a Living Will or Advance Care Plan, and a Durable Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child. It is important to have an estate planning lawyer prepare these documents for you. The goal is to have a personalized plan that will work for your family and will give you peace of mind.

Estate Planning Nashville

Before you meet with your estate planning lawyer, you will need to compile a list of your assets and liabilities. This includes bank accounts, investments, your home, retirement accounts, and life insurance. Your estate planning lawyer will need to know the names of your closest family members and whether there is a need to protect beneficiaries from the effects of disabilities or unhealthy dependencies.

Your estate planning lawyer will help you determine how you want your property distributed to your family. An estate plan should address your family’s particular needs and goals. There are many issues to consider in the estate planning process. A good estate plan will transfer your property to your loved ones after your death in a way that minimizes taxes and provides protection for your assets and your family members.

Three GenerationsStages of Estate Planning

A young couple with young children may need estate planning not only to provide for the disposition of their property but more importantly, to name a guardian to care for their young children if something happens to both parents. Minor children cannot inherit directly. Parents can create a trust under the Will to hold assets for a child and see that those assets are spent for the child’s care until he or she reaches adulthood. Putting a trust in place for this purpose makes it unnecessary for a Court to supervise the handling of the child’s assets.

A middle-aged couple who have accumulated assets may have different priorities for their estate planning. If they have accumulated enough to have a taxable estate, they may need trusts that will give them the benefit of minimizing estate and inheritance taxes. They may want to make gifts to their grandchildren or provide for the property they will leave to their children to be held in trust to provide for the maximum protection for the children.

An older couple or individual may need to plan for possible disability. This can be done by means of an Inter vivos revocable trust (also known as a Living Trust), a trust created under a Will, powers of attorney for health care and financial matters, or a conservatorship. Proper planning can greatly ease the process of transferring control of a disabled person’s assets to a responsible person who will manage the assets for the benefit of the disabled person.

There are many ways to plan an estate. Most involve the use of Wills, trusts, beneficiary designations and asset titling. Whether you use a Last Will and Testament or a trust for your estate planning, you can avoid paying unnecessary estate tax and inheritance tax. The most important part of your plan is getting your property to your loved ones, either outright or in trust. A trust can be a useful mechanism to avoid unnecessary estate taxes and to preserve assets for the future.

Your estate planning lawyer may recommend a Revocable Trust, sometimes called a Living Trust, or a Last Will and Testament as the best way to meet your family’s needs. In some situations, a Minor’s Trust or an Irrevocable Insurance Trust is indicated. In some situations a Special Needs Trust is required.