Estate Planning Lawyers in Clarksville, TN Helping Clients Protect Their Assets For Future Generations
Most people do not like to think about their own death and what life may be like for their family. Additionally, many individuals mistakenly believe they do not need estate planning services because they are not wealthy.
However, individuals do not have to be wealthy to take advantage of the legal protections that estate planning can offer.
Therefore, with proper estate planning, individuals can make choices now that will significantly benefit their families in the future. An estate plan can also help individuals protect assets and plan for medical care when they grow older.
If you are curious about estate planning benefits, contact Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC of Clarksville, TN, to schedule a free initial consultation. A qualified legal team member will gladly sit down with you and suggest a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs.
Why Should I Consider Estate Planning?
A common misbelief is that if an individual dies without leaving a will, their assets will automatically go to their immediate family members. The estates of Individuals who die and do not leave a will behind are subject to Tennessee intestacy laws. Although this law may still not seem complicated, heirs and other beneficiaries are often not given what the decedent intended for them to have. In addition, the time it takes to work the case through the state probate system may take significantly longer than if they had had a will.
Having an estate plan in place can also assist your family in making critical medical and financial decisions if you cannot do so for yourself. For example, if you become incapacitated due to an injury, you may not be able to share your feelings about the type of medical care you do and do not want. Additionally, individuals who develop dementia may be unable to manage their financial needs properly.
In both instances, estate planning documents can designate and authorize another individual to act as an agent who can make legal decisions on their behalf. However, without proper estate planning documents, the state of Tennessee may appoint a conservator to oversee the individual’s personal affairs, including making decisions regarding medical treatment and financial transactions.
Finally, if you have minor-age children, you must also consider who will obtain guardianship over them. Individuals should never assume that immediate family members would automatically gain custody. Without proper legal documentation, your child could end up in state custody until the court decides who the child should live with, creating more trauma for them. Also, you do not want family members taking each other to court to try and obtain custody, creating an even worse traumatic experience for your children.
Everyone has different needs, so it is in your best interest to consult an experienced attorney who can review your situation and determine what type of plan will provide you with the most significant protection.
The attorneys of Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC have extensive experience in helping clients craft an estate plan that will provide them and their families protection in the days to come.
What Should Be Included in a Comprehensive Estate Plan?
In order to have a comprehensive estate plan, several legal documents should be included to ensure that you and your family are protected and prepared for the future.
These legal documents include:
- Last Will and Testament: A will is vital to make your final wishes known to your heirs and other beneficiaries. A well-written will always name the estate’s executor, who is responsible for managing and paying for all of the estate’s debts and ensuring that assets are distributed to the appropriate heirs. A will also provides guidelines for how the decedent wishes their estate to be distributed and how they wish to be buried.
- Trust: Several trust options allow the grantor, the person who creates the trust, to leave assets to their beneficiaries. One of the most significant benefits of establishing a trust is that, unlike a will that becomes public knowledge once it has been probated, the details of the trust remain private. Additionally, the assets contained within a trust are not subject to Tennessee probate laws. The assets of the trust are then distributed to the beneficiaries according to the terms established by the grantor.
- Living Will/Advanced Directive: This legal document allows individuals to express their wishes about the type of medical treatment and other lifesaving care they do or do not want. A living will or advanced directive helps alleviate the added stress of guesswork so families can make decisions that align with their loved ones’ wishes.
- Healthcare Power of Attorney: A healthcare power of attorney allows individuals to pre-assign the agent(s) of their choice to make crucial medical decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated. Like an advanced directive, a healthcare power of attorney can eliminate stress and possible contention within a family about who should make decisions should their loved one become ill.
- Durable Power of Attorney: This document is also called Financial Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney (DPOA) authorizes an agent to make financial decisions on their behalf. Like the other legal documents in an estate plan, a DPOA can help eliminate potential legal disputes that may arise within a family regarding who should handle financial concerns.
Every estate plan is different, and it is always best to consult with an experienced attorney who will assess your needs. Contact Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC, to learn how we can help with your individual needs.
What Are the Three Priorities That Need to Be Addressed in Estate Planning?
Many individuals often get caught up in the various documents that should be included in the estate plan but need to realize what the three main overall priorities should be. The three main priorities that must be addressed in any estate plan regardless of the individual’s unique circumstances include:
- Should you become incapacitated, a specific individual is granted legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.
- A plan has been implemented to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
- Your heirs and other beneficiaries have been clearly defined.
If your estate plan does not adequately address these three issues, your estate could be subject to legal proceedings. If disputes arise, this could cause your family members to have to shell out expensive legal fees and be forced to wait to receive the financial resources they may need after you pass away.
In addition, without designating who can make medical decisions for you, the court could appoint a conservator on your behalf. However, a conservator will make such decisions based on what they feel is best without the benefit of having a personal relationship with you.
Therefore, it is best to consult a reputable estate planning lawyer who can advise you and protect your rights. Our law firm takes pride in always listening to our clients and helping them develop a plan to help them feel secure, knowing they have done their best to protect their families.
What Type of Service Can I Expect From Your Law Firm?
Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC of Clarksville, TN, focuses solely on estate planning needs for our clients. Because our law firm centers exclusively on estate planning services, our attorneys can provide comprehensive services tailored to your specific needs.
When you trust us to handle your estate planning needs, we will sit down and explain the various legal options that would benefit you and your beneficiaries most. We have built our reputation on creating estate planning legal documents that clearly indicate your final wishes and how you would like your assets to be distributed. Our legal documents are created in such a way that your final wishes are clearly outlined and will hold up under legal scrutiny.
We recognize that it can be challenging to discuss end-of-life matters, but we strive to treat each client with the care and compassion they deserve as they create their estate plans. We can also advise you regarding previous wills that you may have drafted and how they should be updated to ensure that your current needs are taken into consideration.
Additionally, suppose you have recently divorced your spouse. In that case, you must create a new estate plan that names other beneficiaries and agents with legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. The last thing you want is to have your former spouse assert control over your healthcare or finances.
If you would like to learn more about how estate planning can protect you and your family, contact Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC of Clarksville, by calling 931-272-3746 and asking to schedule a free initial consultation. We look forward to assisting you in planning for the future.