In this article, you can learn about:
- How an estate plan can help everyone secure their future.
- How including a trust in your will can ensure that your children are provided for in an emergency.
- The benefits of working with an estate planning lawyer to determine what plan is best for you.
What Exactly Is Estate Planning? Who Needs An Estate Plan In Mississippi And Tennessee?
Estate planning is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of services — each of them geared toward protecting a person’s assets during and after the end of their life.
Estate planning can be as simple as making a will or as complex as forming a multi-trust asset protection structure.
Whatever you choose to include in your estate plan, the most important thing is only that you ever make one in the first place. Few people consider the ramifications that come from growing older without an estate plan in place. The reality is, these documents can provide you with a sense of ease, knowing that your health and the people you love will be taken care of – no matter what happens.
Two of the most important tools in an estate plan are wills and healthcare directives.
A will allows you to explain exactly how you want your belongings, finances, and assets to be distributed upon your passing.
A healthcare directive can give you the opportunity to remain in control of your medical decisions — even when you are unable to communicate them yourself.
If you ever become sick or unable to care for yourself, these essential tools can make sure the ones that you care about are taken care of, and that they don’t have the burden of making life-altering decisions on your behalf.
What Is A Will And Is A Will Enough On Its Own In Mississippi Or Tennessee?
A will is a written or typed document that expresses your wishes for all of your assets.
While some people think that the term “assets” refers to grand financial property, an asset can be anything you own. The assets that are often included in wills are things such as:
- Homes and properties
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Family heirlooms
- And more . . .
Most of all, a will can give you and your family peace of mind. You don’t have to leave the people you care about most wondering what to do with your entire estate — a will can provide clarity for everyone.
Depending on the size of your estate, you may want to consider other estate planning tools in addition to your will. However, a simple estate is considered anything worth under $5 million. So, a simple four to five-page will can provide a comprehensive plan for many people.
The Benefits Of Forming A Trust In Mississippi And Tennessee
A trust is an estate planning tool that places control of assets into the hands of a third party for the benefit of a named beneficiary.
Most commonly, I work with couples to create a children’s trust within the terms of their will.
This makes it such that if the person or couple passes away, all the assets they earned will be placed in a trust for the benefit of their children. Typically, people will make it such that these assets will stay in the trust until after the child has finished college — or reaches the age of 23.
What Healthcare-Related Documents Are Necessary Under Mississippi And Tennessee Laws?
In Tennessee and Mississippi, the best healthcare directive document is the Power of Attorney. Both states have very simple, straightforward statutes that lay out exactly how these documents should be created.
The matters addressed in a Power of Attorney will include:
- Decisions about medical care and procedures;
- A designated person to make decisions about issues that are not addressed in your healthcare directive;
- The use of life support and other life-saving measures;
- The presence of a Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR);
- Organ donorship;
- Who your primary care physician is;
- And more . . .
If you’re curious about how to protect your wishes for future medical care, don’t hesitate to contact my firm for an initial consultation at your earliest convenience.
Can You Form A Reliable Estate Plan Using An Online Service?
Online estate planning services are inexpensive. But unfortunately, the cost of using these services is paid in other ways.
Secure estate plans are best created with the assistance of an attorney. By personally addressing your concerns and goals for the future, an attorney can make sure that every provision you need is made.
What Is Probate And What Factors Set The Stage For It To Occur In Mississippi Or Tennessee?
Probate is a court process that takes place after a person has passed away.
If you choose to put a will through probate, there will be certain reasons why you need to admit the matter to the court.
One reason this is done is when there are remaining debts in an estate. Probate makes it such that creditors can recover these debts from an estate after someone has passed away.
If a person passes away without a will, their estate will be called “Intestate”. In these cases, the court will assist in determining how to distribute the decedent’s assets.
What Are Some Options To Avoid Probate Altogether?
The only way to avoid probate is to form a comprehensive estate plan. If you choose to do this through a will, you may. Even a four to five-page will can greatly reduce the need for probate.
Other tools for avoiding probate may include creating a banking or financial instrument. This could entail designating someone as a beneficiary called a POD: payee on death. This is often the best tool in avoiding probate as it transfers all your bank-related assets to that named party immediately.
Additionally, you can assign beneficiaries a 401(k), Roth IRA, Pension, and more.
Can You Go Through Probate Without The Help Of An Attorney?
There are so many reasons why probate is best handled with the counsel of a skilled attorney.
Specifically, the required notices can create huge roadblocks. For example, if a decedent owned property in Mississippi, you are required to give notice in the paper for three weeks prior to the sale of that property. In the state of Tennessee, the requirement for notice before the sale of a property is four weeks.
Additionally, you have to give specific notice of any sale to creditors, any collection of Medicare benefits in the state, and more.
Probate is an incredibly difficult and stressful process. The law is complex, the timelines are drawn out, and the repercussions for mishandling each step are exhausting.
The best way to avoid the headache of these matters is to go directly to a source of expertise. Working with an attorney gives you the confidence of knowing that probate will be handled seamlessly.
For more information on Estate Planning Law In Mississippi & Tennessee, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (662) 672-6663 today.