Probably one of the main reasons for people to put off getting their estate plans in order is the perception of how difficult and complicated the task might be. While it is certainly true that some estate plans might seem overly complex, most estate plans usually spell things out quite clearly and simply – if they are clearly drafted.
Tennessee residents thinking of their own potential estate planning needs may wonder where to start.
Estate planning basics
A good starting point is to think of why you need an estate plan to begin with. For most people, an estate plan is intended to accomplish several goals, such as: directing how assets should be distributed upon death; appointing guardians for minor children; directing how funeral arrangements should be handled; and appointing trusted individuals to make health or financial decisions, in the event that the planner becomes incapacitated.
As a recent news article noted, wills, trusts and power of attorney documents are all common components of a basic estate plan.
Your unique financial situation and family dynamics will mean that your estate plan will look different from others you may have seen. It helps to think about estate plans in terms of the answers to important questions, such as: Who should make decisions about my healthcare or my finances if I can’t do it?; How should my assets be split up and transferred to others?; Who can responsibly raise my minor children if I’m not able to do so?
Researching potential estate planning options is always helpful. But, as the recent news article pointed out, getting the right help can make the overall process much smoother. Be sure to get the right information about your needs and your own unique situation.