Experience Makes the Difference
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is an important decision that everyone should do regardless of their assets. It is the planning and distribution of your state once you pass away or are incarcerated. It may sound simple but, in many cases, it is not that easy as it sounds. How do you want your assets distributed if you die? Who will make decisions for you if you can no longer make those decisions for yourself?
There are a few other ancillary documents that everyone should have when they have a will and those include a power of attorney for healthcare, power of attorney for financial and business decisions, organ donor certification, and an advanced care plan (living will). The bottom line is, regardless of your estate’s size, you need to have the basic estate planning documents in place.
Things To Consider When Thinking About Estate Planning
What things do you own? Do you own them with a spouse or partner? Do you own a business? Do you have investment accounts? Do you have life insurance? CDs? IRAs? 401(k)s?
Account For Your Family’s Needs
Once you understand what’s in your estate, the next step is to think about how to protect it and your family after you’re gone.
Do you have enough life insurance? Life insurance is vital for matters like paying off a mortgage, leaving money for your spouse and children to live off of, and having enough money for children’s college education.
If you have children, then your will should name a guardian for them and a backup guardian, just in case. This can help avoid costly family court fights that could drain your estate’s assets.
Document your wishes for your children’s care. Don’t presume that certain family members share your child-rearing ideas and goals or that a judge will abide by your wishes if the issue goes to court.
Establish Your Estate Planning Directives
A complete estate plan includes necessary legal directives:
A trust might be appropriate. With a living trust, you can designate portions of your estate to go toward certain things while you’re alive. If you become ill or incapacitated, your selected trustee can take over. Upon your death, the trust assets transfer to your designated beneficiaries, bypassing probate (the court process that may otherwise distribute your property).
An advance care plan details your wishes for medical care if you become unable to make those decisions yourself. In contrast, a durable power of attorney for health care gives your designated agent the authority to make health care decisions if you can’t.
A durable financial power of attorney for financial and business affairs allows someone else to manage your financial affairs if you are medically unable to do so. Your designated agent can act on your behalf in legal and financial situations, such as paying bills and managing your assets.
A durable healthcare power of attorney allows someone else to manage your healthcare decisions should you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself.
Areas We Cover:
LaFollette, Jacksboro, Caryville, Oneida, Huntsville, Knoxville, Clinton, Oak Ridge, Maynardville, Morristown, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Wartburg, Madisonville.
Bullock Law Firm is one of the most client-focused law offices I have ever dealt with. Adam is knowledgeable, understanding, and goes out of his way to provide unmatched individual service. His friendly attitude and honesty will help address any legal difficulties. Additionally, his estate planning knowledge and thoroughness truly prove he has you and your family’s best interests at heart.
Adam did an awesome job setting an estate for us. Over the course of a year, he answered every question quickly and with compassion. We couldn’t have done it without him. Now he is a friend for life.