Every family has a legacy. A simple will is often the first step in proper estate planning. For some families, a simple will is sufficient protection, but for others, more complex planning is required. Every family’s estate plan will be based on their unique financial and personal circumstances. For instance, if you want to avoid the time and expense of probate, you can consider the benefits of a more sophisticated estate plan. This can include a revocable trust (also called a “living will”).
Before you choose between a will or a revocable trust, you should to speak to an estate planning lawyer such as the attorneys at Elder Law of Nashville PLC. Either approach has its benefits and drawbacks. It takes careful understanding of your family’s situation and the nature and extent of your assets to craft the right plan for you. This type of understanding and planning cannot be achieved without legal advice. In other words, this is not a “do it yourself” enterprise using forms on the Internet. Legal advice is absolutely necessary if you want your assets to be disposed of according to your wishes without triggering a family fight or even litigation.
Elder Law of Nashville PLC offers a range of legal services to help you plan for the future. Our estate planning packages include powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions, living wills, and advanced directives. We want you to feel like the legal planning has been done and you can put those worries out of your mind.
Contact us at (615) 852-5602 if you need help in this area! Our attorneys can review your financial situation, address your concerns, and help you put the plan in place to protect your family and your wishes. It is important to have a plan.
The Importance of a Living Will in Estate Planning
Most people have some idea of the importance of having a will. A will specifies your wishes for your estate after you pass away. It lets both the courts and your family know your wishes. Having a will can offer you and your family peace of mind in the wake of tragedy. However, many families don’t consider the importance of having a living will, though having both a will and a living will are both important aspects of estate planning.
What is the difference between a will and a living will? The biggest difference between a will and a living will is the period of time when each instrument goes into effect. A will is used after you pass away to distribute assets to your family and loved ones. A living will instructs family members and loved ones about your wishes regarding your financial matters and your medical wishes should you become too ill or incapacitated to make these decisions for yourself.
For instance, individuals sometimes become too ill or incapacitated to make important financial or medical decisions before they die. This can happen if a younger person is involved in a car accident or if an older person is diagnosed with a progressive illness. This is where a living will can be important. A living will can let your family and medical professionals know your wishes regarding medical treatment, including whether you want resuscitation. Sometimes families face serious medical decisions without guidance when an individual doesn’t have a living will on file. This is why writing a living will should be part of any estate planning process.
The attorneys at Elder Law of Nashville PLC are estate planning lawyers who can help you and your family ask the tough questions now in order to avoid stress, distress, and grief later. Our firm offers compassionate and caring guidance to families and individuals in all life stages. It is never too early or too late to begin estate planning. Many individuals think about estate planning during major life events: a marriage, the birth of a child, or retirement. If you are considering beginning an estate plan, visit the estate planning law firm professionals at Elder Law of Nashville PLC today.
Questions You Should Consider as You Write Your Will
One of the obvious purposes of a will is to determine how your money, property, and assets will be distributed after your death. However, there may be other matters you may want to consider as you write your will, depending on your circumstances. For instance, individuals with minor children may want to consider designating guardians and individuals with pets may want to consider making provisions for their animals. What are some things you should consider in your estate planning? Here are a few things to think about:
- Naming guardians for minor children: If you have minor children, you may want to name possible guardians on your will. However, it is wise to speak to these individuals about your plans before you add them to your will because individuals will ultimately have to consent to become caretakers for your children.
- Making provisions for animals. If you have animals, you may want to make specific provisions for their care after you pass away. The law treats animals like property, so individuals named to receive your pets can refuse to care for them. This is why it is important to speak to friends or family before you name them as caretakers for your pets in your will. One way that individuals ensure the care of their animals is by putting aside money explicitly for the care of the animal. This way, the person who takes on the responsibility has the financial support to do so.
- Avoid transferring funds or home ownership before you pass away. Some individuals believe they can avoid the hassle of writing a will by giving their children money or transferring the home before they die. However, if you end up living longer than expected, you may find yourself without money, especially if your children don’t manage your finances properly. Additionally, if your children get into financial trouble, a house could be put in jeopardy. Instead, consider speaking to the estate planning lawyers at Elder Law of Nashville PLC to learn more about your options.
- Consider how you’ll manage digital assets. Today, more of our most valuable information is stored in the cloud. More people are making provisions for how their digital assets should be distributed and managed after they pass.
Estate planning can seem complicated when you start to think about all the things that must be considered. While it isn’t impossible to write a will on your own, the proper procedure to do so is fraught with legal requirements. An estate planning law firm in Nashville, Tennessee can review your will to ensure that your wishes will be honored. We can stand beside you as you ask yourself and your family these tough questions. Additionally, we can review your estate to see if there are tax-savings and other beneficial financial instruments available to protect your rights and your assets. If you have estate planning questions, contact Elder Law of Nashville, PLC today.