Estate planning helps ensure that your assets undergo distribution according to your wishes when you die. In Tennessee, a basic estate plan includes several key elements that help protect your family, your assets and your interests.
When drafting your estate plan, be sure to include the following.
1. A last will and testament
In a last will and testament, you specify who inherits your assets, including your real estate, investments and personal belongings, when you die. Without a will, Tennessee law dictates where your assets go, and the state may not distribute them in line with your wishes.
2. A power of attorney
A power of attorney grants someone you trust the authority to manage your financial and legal affairs if you suffer incapacitation. This individual, known as your agent, makes decisions on your behalf with regard to bank accounts, investments and property transactions.
3. An advanced health care directive
A health care directive or living will allow you to outline your preferences for medical treatment in case you become unable to communicate your wishes. This document covers important decisions like whether you want life-sustaining treatments or organ donation.
Studies show that about 33% of people who fail to create estate plans cite a lack of assets as their reasoning for not doing so. However, creating a plan is important, regardless of your asset or income level. Creating a simple estate plan can also go a long way in terms of safeguarding your legacy and enhancing your peace of mind.