Probate avoidance: Is it necessary in Tennessee?

In some states, probate is expensive and burdensome. In my experience, that is not true in middle Tennessee. In those state with lengthy and expensive probate processes, attorneys often advocate using revocable trusts to avoid probate. This requires having a revocable trust document prepared and then transferring all of your assets into the trust during life. This is usually more expensive and time consuming that having a Will prepared.  [Read more…]

More tips for avoiding a fight over your estate

As an estate planning attorney, one of my primary concerns is to help my clients avoid the possibility of a Will contest. It can take a family generations to recover from the damage to family relationships that can occur in a Will contest or other type of litigated estate matter. The cost of having documents properly prepared and executed is a small matter compared to the cost of a will contest or other litigated probate matter. Below are a few additional tips for avoiding a fight over your estate.  [Read more…]

Guidelines for Keeping Financial Records

Many people have their financial documents scattered all over the house – on the kitchen table, in stacks of old newspapers, the hall closet, the basement, the garage. This type of “organization” makes it difficult, if not impossible, to keep tabs on your finances.

Sorting and filing financial papers is no one’s idea of fun. Fight the urge to procrastinate and make the time to put things in good order. The financial professionals who work with you will be better able to advise you if they have accurate and up-to-date information. When you pass away, your loved ones will have an easier time locating the important documents needed at that time. One large file cabinet may suffice for storage. Some prefer a few storage boxes or stackable units. Whatever you choose, here is what you should keep:  [Read more…]