People in Tennessee who are creating an estate plan can take steps to avoid three common mistakes. The first is not leaving a list of all assets and how they can be accessed. Even people who create a list can make the mistake of leaving important items off. From bank to brokerage accounts and life insurance policies to digital assets, such as Instagram accounts, people may have many assets that are protected by passwords as well as other personal information ranging from names of pets to first teachers and more. On top of that, there may be additional assets that have sentimental value. Everything should go on the list.
Tennessee residents who are going through the estate planning process may face a variety of challenges. One of them might be determining how to pass assets such as jewelry or artwork. These types of assets tend to be less liquid, and they also tend to be harder to value or keep track of. However, it is critical to come to a proper valuation whether an asset is to be transferred or sold.
Small business owners in Tennessee should make sure that they have estate plans in place that specify how their companies are to be handled when they die. In situations where small business owners die without a will or an estate plan, what happens to the business that is left behind will be determined by the laws in which the decedent lived.
One of the most significant mistakes Tennessee residents can make regarding an estate plan is not having one. Individuals who die without an estate plan create a situation in which their loved ones will not receive their inheritances as they intended. Family conflicts can arise, disbursements can be delayed for a long time, and the estate may be subject to additional taxes that otherwise could have been avoided.
Many Tennessee residents are well aware of the financial and practical benefits of estate planning. By preparing key documents, estate owners can help their beneficiaries to avoid unnecessary taxes, probate costs and associated delays. In addition, people who plan for the future often feel a profound sense of peace of mind knowing that their loved ones will be provided for.
A major problem that many Tennessee residents make when planning for the future is failing to appoint the right people for various roles in their estate plans. These roles could include trustees, executors, powers of attorney and smaller roles including those appointed to manage Social Security payments.
By using trusts as part of an estate plan, a Tennessee resident can ensure that certain assets are managed and distributed according to their wishes. Those who have been uncertain about using trusts may be interested to know that due to the recent rise in interest rates, certain types of trusts, such as GRATs and CLATs, can be very beneficial to grantors.
When a loved one passes away, the situation can soon become complex for families in Tennessee. Issues with a person's estate and disputes over their assets within the family can breed distrust or exacerbate existing concerns over dishonesty, greed or theft. This is especially problematic when a person dies without a will or did not speak with the family about their plans for the estate. While there is no certain way to avoid future conflict, developing an estate plan can help create clear guidance for how a person's assets should be distributed after death.
Many people in Tennessee still have no estate plan in place. There is no shortage of reasons why. Attorneys practicing in this area of law have heard them all. They run the gamut from, "I don't own enough to make a plan," to "I don't want to spend the money."