Every person comes across estate planning at some point in their life. Estate planning may be for yourself or you may be learning about Tennessee estate laws when you are responsible as an executor, executrix, or personal representative to someone’s estate. Whatever the case may be, it is important to know what goes into estate planning and how estate planning works in LaFollette, Jacksboro and other parts of Tennessee. In the simplest form, estate planning is for what happens to your “stuff” when you pass. Estate planning involves the preparation of a will, powers of attorney, advanced care plan, and/or a living will. It takes into consideration estate laws, investments, insurance, and tax implications.

Estate planning is not only essential when a person is planning the future of his family when the person is no longer around. Estate planning is necessary for everyone no matter the value of your assets. The objective of estate planning is to ensure that the estate is distributed to the benefit of the family. Estate planning also involves healthcare and end-of-life medical care preferences of the person.

The Tennessee Legislature enacted the Community Property Trust Act in 2010. This gives equal ownership to both spouses as well as an equal share in income and growth, but it must be done in the form of a trust. Assets under community property also receive a significant advantage in federal income tax. Tennessee Trust law has created a really powerful tool to reduce taxes related to capital gains.

When doing estate planning, there are several documents that you may require. People usually believe that they only need a Last Will and Testament. This document controls what happens to the property. A Will can be used to establish a trust and assign a guardian for minor children. A Last Will and Testament is surely one of the most important documents, but you may also need a few other documents, like –

  • Revocable Living Trust – This document is used when you have a lot of assets and/or you want to avoid, or at least lessen the burden of the probate process. Simply having a revocable living trust is not enough. Items such as life insurance, real property, certain investment accounts, etc., must be funded to the trust in order for it to be used appropriately.
  • Living Will/Advanced Care Plan – This document allows a person to make their own health care decisions so that when the person is terminally ill and cannot make his own decisions, the Living Will is taken into consideration. It lets your family and doctors know your wishes regarding life-sustaining measures that should be taken in case of terminal conditions.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Financial and Business Affairs – This document authorizes a person to act on your behalf and act for your financial and/or business affairs if you are unable to do so. The authorized person is responsible for all financial and business matters, like filing tax returns, paying bills and more. It does not include matters related to your health while you are living
  • Health Care Power of Attorney – This document authorizes a person to make health care decisions on your behalf in case you are incapacitated. This document will not take the place of your Living Will/Advanced Care Plan, but will be used in the event there is an emergency and will allow this person to obtain medical records, speak with healthcare professionals, and be HIPAA compliant.
  • Estate planning is mainly for the organization of assets and preparing for any complications that may arise after a person’s death. Bullock Law Firm is a premier estate planning law firm in all areas around Norris Lake and all of East Tennessee, including but not limited to: Campbell, Union, Claiborne, Scott, Knox, and Anderson County.