Four Essential Parts Of A Successful Estate Plan

When you think of an estate plan, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely a will. But estate plans are much more than just wills.

If you want to fully secure your assets and your family, you need a custom estate plan that works for your unique needs. Smith, Lehberger & Bodie uses a variety of tools to make sure your family is prepared when disaster strikes. As you are building your estate plan, make sure it includes these four elements.

Last will and testament

This is, of course, the cornerstone of your estate plan. This designates where your assets go after you pass. For many of your assets, you may have a specific person in mind to receive them. Your home and family heirlooms may be highly sought after by your loved ones, and could be the source of conflict after your death. A well-drafted will can prevent disputes like these and keep your family sane.

Trusts

There are a wide variety of trusts that allow you to set aside money for various purposes. You could put away money for your child for when they come of age, or can assign an amount of money to care for a special needs child. These trusts protect that money from any other person who may be tempted to use it, including yourself when you need end-of-life care or an ex-spouse who may be coming for your assets.

Powers of attorney

If anything happens to you and you are unable to make your own financial decisions, designating powers of attorney to someone you trust can ensure your life continues smoothly. Powers of attorney allow a close loved one to use your money to pay any necessary bills or expenses that may arise while you are seeking care.

Medical directives

Like powers of attorney, medical directives (also referred to medical powers of attorney or "living wills") give someone the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. While it is best to clarify any major decisions in your will, a medical directive will place all decision-making in the hands of the person you trust most.

Don't Wait Another Minute, Start Planning Your Estate Today

Estate plans are for everybody in Tennessee, regardless of your age — especially when you have assets and loved ones who depend on you. With these elements in place, you can ensure your loved ones will be secure and all decisions will be made according to your wishes if anything happens to you.

Knoxville trusts the lawyers at Smith, Lehberger & Bodie for estate planning. Call our office at 865-643-8626 to set up your first consultation, or send us an email to get started on your estate plan.