There is no better place to start than with the basics. Estate planning is the process of deciding how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. Whether a person has accumulated vast amounts of wealth or lives by modest means, many people have an opinion as to what should happen to their hard earned possessions after they are gone. You cannot take any of that wealth with you when you die, but you can take steps to ensure it is divided up how you want it to be.
Many people are unaware that the law dictates how your property is to be divided up if you die without having made a valid will. The State of Tennessee has various laws to do just that. For some people, that may mean a distant relative ends up receiving the bulk of the deceased person’s wealth instead of a close companion. The law focuses on family relationships and pays no mind to close friends, companions, or significant others (other than spouses). When you pass away without a valid will, you essentially leave it up to Tennessee state law to decide who gets your property.
Estate planning does not have to be complicated. The law gives you broad power to decide how your property will be distributed. You even have the ability to exclude close relatives should you so desire. Many people ask us to do “simple wills,” believing their estate planning will not require extensive or complicated planning. However, we believe that even “simple wills” require thoughtful and careful planning to ensure a client’s goals are achieved. Estate planning is just that: “planning.” Our goal is to help our clients think through various situations and contingencies to ensure their desires are achieved.
We would welcome the opportunity discuss all aspects of estate planning with you. Please feel free to call our office at 865-268-5941.