None of us knows what life has in store for us, so creating plans and strategies for our loved ones is one way we can mitigate the stress caused by the unknown elements of our life. If you have children, property, and assets, it can be stressful to worry about what will happen once you’ve passed away. This can become even more of a concern if you have not made provisions for your estate. Even if you feel you don’t have much to leave behind, an estate plan is about more than your assets and property.
Top 4 Reasons You Need an Estate Plan
Having an estate plan in place can provide your family with important guidelines for a future that will not include you. It’s an opportunity for you to give those who care for you an idea of what you want to happen after you’ve passed away. It’s uncomfortable to consider your mortality, but it’s an important discussion. You can work with an estate planning attorney to create lasting documentation of your final wishes, but if you’re struggling to decide what to include, here is a helpful guideline for how an estate plan can help you and your family.
An estate plan can:
Ensure Your Assets Go Where You Want: If you don’t have an estate plan, your assets will be divided by someone other than you. If this doesn’t bother you, then that’s fine. If you have a property you intend to leave behind to specific people in your life, then an estate plan can ensure that happens. An estate plan establishes a distribution plan for your assets.
Plan for Your Medical Wishes at the End: An estate plan isn’t only about assigning and distributing your property once you pass away. It can also help your loved ones understand your medical wishes if you’re incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. If you know you are against certain end-of-life treatments and lifesaving interventions, you should make provisions in your estate plan to include your wishes should you become incapacitated. You could also use your estate plan to name a healthcare proxy who will act on your behalf when you cannot.
Make Provisions for Minor Children: If your children are still under 18 years old, you will need to assign a guardian for them in the event of your death while they are still underage. If you and your child’s parent are still married, your spouse automatically cares for your dependent children if you die. What happens if you both die? Your children could end up in foster care or split up between available relatives. An estate plan can make certain your assets are directed to the care of your minor children, and a guardian is assigned to care for them.
Provide Tax Protections: Your medium or small estate could be gutted in taxes without professional help. Estate planning will prevent the value of your estate from being wiped out with an expensive tax bill.
Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys in Clarksville
The estate planning attorneys at Patton | Pittman have many years of experience providing Tennessee families with important end-of-life legal guidance. Call our Clarksville office at (931) 361-4477 to schedule a consultation.