Wills And Estate Planning
Almost all estate plans include a Last Will and Testament. Most everyone is familiar with what a will is and the affect it has on decisions made after someone passes away. A will is the document that generally directs how you will be buried, who will be the guardian of you minor children, and equally important, how your property is disposed of. Under a will, the property is broken up into two types: real and personal. Real property consists of things like land and your house while personal property includes everything from your socks to your car. While your will does appoint an executor to administer your property and settle any outstanding debts, it is important to have your will carefully drafted so that you do not place a heavy burden on the executor of your estate, who is generally a family member. Your will needs to give very specific instructions so that the executor is left to guess on what your intentions were.
Other common documents clients want drafted include a Power of Attorney, and a Healthcare Power of Attorney (which is known in Tennessee as an Appointment of a Healthcare Agent). Without these documents, a family member may have to petition a court to be appointed a conservator in order to handle your affairs for which you may not be able to do on your own. Having a Power of Attorney up front will save your family from having to go to court to get these matters handled. Generally, when people think of a Power of Attorney, they understand that to mean someone else has the ability to handle your financial issues that YOU CHOOSE. The Appointment of a Healthcare Agent also allows you to choose someone to make critical healthcare decision if you are unable to do so. The key here is that you can control what happens by having these documents drafted up before it is too late and your family has to undertake additional expenses to be allowed to act on your behalf. Also, this allows you to talk to the person you want to handle these matters and give them instructions on what YOU WANT.
If you would like to ensure your property and affairs are accounted for and have intended beneficiaries, give us a call today at 615-622-6060 to schedule a consultation.