I was recently having a conversation with a group of financial advisors and a question that almost all of them wanted an answer to was what is the best estate planning strategy for young Tennessee families? This is a very important question, and I was very thankful that these individuals brought up this question so that I was given an opportunity to discuss this important topic.
There are three tips that I said I could provide to young Tennessee families when it comes to Estate Planning:
- Every Young Family Needs, at the Very Least, a Will Package
Every young Tennessee family, regardless of wealth, is in need of a will package. A will package includes the Last Will and Testament. All of us have heard of a will. This is a legal document that says where your things go and will be in charge after you pass away. Without a simple will package, the surviving spouse of a young Tennessee family grieving after the sudden passing of their wife or husband, would find themselves in a long and drawn out probate court process with the family’s financial assets being frozen until a judge authorized the release of those assets to the surviving spouse.
- Naming a Guardian of Minor Children in Your Will Package
Another important tip that every young Tennessee family should put in place is naming a guardian for their minor children in the event of death or incapacity. Young families never consider the possibility that both of them could die or be medically incapacitated while the children are still minors. However, the unfortunate truth is that this does occur and tragedies do happen. If you do not name a guardian of your minor children in your will package, your family members would be left with no other option but to go to court and nominate a person to be appointed guardian over your minor children until they reach the age of 18. This is usually a very difficult decision for the surviving family members to decide, and unfortunately, is usually where fights can occur. In addition, the guardian will be required to file an insurance bond (an additional cost) as the guardian will have to care for your children and preserve all the assets and money that you left behind.
- Completing Your Disability Legal Documents
Another important tip that every young Tennessee family should follow is completing their disability legal documents. These legal documents include your financial (durable) power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and living will declaration. The purpose of these legal documents are that they state your wishes when it comes to your health care and financial decisions should you ever be in a physical or mental state where you are no longer capable of making your own health care or financial decisions. In addition, the living will declaration states your wishes when it comes to the withdraw and withholding of life support systems, your wishes when it comes to organ donation, and your wishes when it comes to the use of experimental medical treatment. These documents are especially important for young Tennessee families who have minor children. These disability legal documents prevent a public and costly court proceeding to determine who should have guardianship over your children should you become mentally or physically incapacitated.