One of the more frustrating and common misconceptions about estate planning that I hear every day includes, “I am single and have no children, I don’t need an estate plan.” This decision could be one of the worst decisions you ever make.
If you fail to have a Last Will and Testament (commonly referred to as a will) in place at the time of your death, then Tennessee law has written one for you. Tennessee state law is going to determine who is going to be in charge and where your property will go when you pass away.
You may be thinking, “so what! I don’t care! I don’t have any children and I’m single. What does it matter to me.”
Well, let me tell you the story that was featured in New York Times on March 10, 2017. In New York, a Queens Surrogate Court judge appointed three lawyers as guardians of potential heirs to the estate of an unmarried and childless woman. As a result, the three guardians went in search of potential heirs and spent part of the woman’s $670,000 estate.
In the end, the highest paid lawyer received $116,025 in fees while the woman’s 14 cousins received inheritances of $33,150 each. You can read the full article by Clicking Here.
So, let me ask you. Who do you want to inherit your wealth? Lawyers? The Government? Or would you rather your wealth going to your relatives, or to a charity of your choice.
The point is that it is better to make these decisions and plans in advance and to avoid your wealth being reduced by lawyer fees, court costs, administrative costs, and have that wealth preserved for your family, or for the charity of your choice.
If you have questions about preserving your wealth for your family, or for charitable reasons of your own, I encourage you to download our Books and Free Reports. I am sure you will find the information extremely valuable.
If you are ready for a Family Wealth Transfer Planning Session, please contact our office by using the contact form, e-mail us at [email protected], or call us at 615-472-2482. We look forward to hearing from you.
As always, we are here to help!
Daniel Perry is an Estate Planning, Business Law, and Tax Attorney in Franklin, Tennessee. Daniel and his wife Catherine, and their children William and Landon, live in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Daniel graduated from Holy Cross College and Purdue University, as well as received his law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. Daniel has devoted his entire practice to the area of estate planning, business law, and tax law, he continually writes, publishes, and speaks publicly on topics in the area of estate planning and elder law, and his book, Estate Planning for Tennessee Families, is being published and can be obtained Free of charge by any Tennessee Families interested in developing a plan that works for their family. Dan can be reached at [email protected] and (615) 472-2482 for public speaking requests.