At nearly every educational event that I present at for the general public, I will almost always get asked the following question:
“We Don’t Know What We Need? What We Should Be Doing?”
This is a very common question and there are really 3 big rules when it comes to estate planning:
1. Get Something in Place
Whenever I hear about the disasters of estate planning and estates that end up going through probate, it is because the family failed to engage in proper planning in the first place. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, procrastination is the reason that families experience tragedy and financial disaster when it comes to their estate legal planning. Many families think they have plenty of time and will constantly put off this important life planning, and it is when families put off this life planning, disasters occur, they lose all of their assets to nursing home expenses, and even spend many years in probate court just trying to settle their loved ones’ estate and final affairs. Therefore, it is imperative to get some estate legal planning completed now. Just remember, you can always update your plan as your life circumstances and law changes in the future.
2. Amend Your Estate Legal Plan as Time Goes On
As I tell many, many of my clients, the only thing worse than no planning at all, is failing to update your plan when your life circumstances change and when the law changes. All the planning that you did will simply not accomplish your estate legal goals if you fail to update your plan when your beneficiaries have children, your executors and back-up executors pass away, your agents of your powers of attorney documents pass away, or when congress passes new tax and estate laws. Therefore, it is important to always revisit your estate legal plan once each year to determine if you need to complete any updates.
3. Work With a Law Firm That Focuses in Estate Planning and Estate Settlement
I always tell my clients, and prospective clients, even if you do not hire me to handle your estate legal needs, you should make sure that you work with a law firm that focuses their entire practice exclusively in estate planning and estate settlement. There are many competent solo practitioners out there that practice in many areas of the law, and many of them are very, very good. However, it should be part of your decision making process to work with a law firm that focuses solely in estate planning and estate settlement, continuously publishes books and free legal reports on estate planning, and continuously speaks to the public on estate planning topics.
If you have questions about estate planning, irrevocable and revocable living trusts, and avoiding nursing home expenses, please reach out to me before you go see any other lawyer or make any other decision on your estate planning so I can send you our free legal report “Estate Planning in Tennessee,” which goes over all the common questions about probate in Tennessee, Medicaid, nursing home expenses, and protecting your assets for your loved ones.
Also, if you would like to learn more about estate planning, avoiding nursing home poverty, and avoiding probate in an educational environment, please reserve a spot at one of our upcoming live educational events or webinars that we have scheduled this month.