Protect your family and your wishes by consulting an experienced estate planning attorney in Nashville, TN.
Ever since the introduction of estate planning forms online, more and more people have bought into the idea that they could draft their own estate planning documents.
One of the problems with do-it-yourself or DIY estate planning is that many people don’t understand what does and doesn’t pass through a will.
DIY Estate Planning Gone Wrong
In one case, a grandmother thought she was leaving everything to her granddaughter. But her assets were in an IRA, which passes according to a beneficiary designation, and the granddaughter got nothing.
Another case in Tennessee illustrates a different pitfall. Mrs. Hoisington of Memphis signed a Will and a Living Trust in 2001. Before her death, however, she made notations on the trust striking out the language leaving everything to her daughter, and substituting the words: “No. 4 ways equally.”
Naturally, the estate ended up in a costly court battle that went all the way to the court of appeals. The court held that the written words were ineffective in changing the trust.
Advice from an Estate Planning Attorney in Nashville
If you don’t have a will that will stand up in court, your assets will pass according to Tennessee law governing “intestate succession.” You might think that your spouse will get your money and can use it to raise your children, but that’s not how it works.
There are also a lot of technical requirements for wills and trusts to be valid. You can make it easier for your heirs if you include provisions such as “waiving bond,” which will obviate the need for your heirs to get an insurance policy to cover the probate process when you die.
If you have enough money to worry about who’s going to get it, you have enough to consult a lawyer.