I was speaking with a group of families recently at one of our live educational events in Hendersonville, TN and following our event, I was asked a very common question that many families seem to have regarding wills, trusts, and estate planning in general. This family I was speaking with had received some information that unless they had over $10.5 million in assets in their name they did not need a trust. However, this is the furthest from the truth. A lot of families I work with get this type of information by reading something online, an article in the newspaper, or speaking with a neighbor. Unfortunately, I do see a lot of Tennessee families that have incomplete information, that if not corrected, can cause devastating consequences for their families as part of their estate plan.
I explained to this family that trusts have a variety of different benefits and goals depending on how the trust is structured. Trusts can be designed in the following ways:
- To Protect from Medicaid Spend Down and Nursing Home Poverty
- To Protect a Child or Children’s Inheritance from Future Divorce and Creditor Claims
- To Make Things Simple for the Surviving Family
- To Avoid a Difficult, Public, and Expensive Probate Court Process
- To Ensure that Assets Pass to the Surviving Family When a Second Marriage Is Involved
- To Plan for a Special Needs Child and Preserve His or Her Public Benefits
I explained to this family that there are several different reasons, and really, an endless list of reasons on why a Tennessee family would need to have a trust in place, without even addressing the issue of potential estate tax consequences for estates above the $5.4 million or $10.8 million asset level.
This family was very appreciative for what they learned and decided to begin the process of putting an estate legal program in place to protect their assets while they were alive and provide for a smooth transition for their loved ones without any government intrusion.
If you have questions about estate Planning in Tennessee, establishing a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust, avoiding nursing home poverty and Medicaid planning, probate or any other estate planning topics, 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 were able to protect their assets from unnecessary nursing home costs and expenses.
I look forward to speaking with you at one of our upcoming live educational events!