I was speaking with a couple from Franklin, Tennessee regarding estate planning following one of our live educational events. This family, like many, did not think that they needed estate planning. This couple was under the impression that estate planning was only for the extremely wealthy. In addition, this couple believed that they could set beneficiary designations on all of their financial accounts and put a will in place and that would solve all of their planning concerns.
I discussed with this family that failing to go through the steps to have your estate plan accurately completed by a professional is a form of Russian roulette and it is a recipe for disaster. I explained to this couple that if you do not do everything exactly correct, your surviving family members will end up in probate, your assets will be frozen, and those family members will have to wait two years or longer before gaining access to the wealth that you left behind. In addition, you family members will be put through the stressful process of settling the estate and incurring tens of thousands of dollars in financial cost before the estate is completed and settled.
I explained to this couple that for these simple reasons, it is extremely important that you have your estate plan put together correctly, the first time, so that this entire probate court mess is avoided for your surviving family members. Specifically, I explained to this couple, that for this reason, trusts are no longer for the wealthy. I discussed that nearly every single one of my clients are using trusts as a way to control what they have, prevent government intrusion, and provide their surviving family members a simple and seamless transition of their assets with as little cost as possible.
I discussed with this couple that every family should have (1) a revocable living trust, (2) last will and testaments for both spouses, (3) durable power of attorneys for both spouses, (4) health care power of attorneys for both spouses, and (5) living will declarations for both spouses. I explained that at the very least, every Tennessee family should have these important legal documents in place.
If you have questions about estate planning in Tennessee or how you can set up your legal affairs so that your assets are protected and you provide a smooth transition to your loved ones, then I encourage you to attend one of our live free educational events scheduled this month. At these events you will hear a lot of real life stories about families that paid thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses, families that were able to avoid unnecessary expenses, and families that enjoyed zero government intrusion into their families’ private lives.
I look forward to speaking with you at one of our upcoming live educational events!