Thinking about and planning for what happens to your assets when you pass away can be uncomfortable. But it is essential to put a plan in place to care for your loved ones and distribute your assets according to your wishes. If you do not have a plan in place, Tennessee’s default rules determine who inherits your assets, which may not match up with your preferences.
You may have questions about how to create an estate plan or be wondering, How much does estate planning cost? This article explains what an estate plan is, the types of estate planning documents you might consider preparing, and how much it might cost to create an estate plan in Tennessee.
What Is an Estate Plan?
An estate plan is a set of instructions and documents you create to inform people about how you would like your assets to be distributed after you pass away. An estate plan can also include instructions for who can make healthcare and property decisions for you should you become incapacitated.
Types of Estate Planning Documents
You can use several documents to create an estate plan. Estate plans commonly include the following documents:
- Trust documents,
- A will,
- Power of attorney, and
- Payable on death instruments.
Each document plays a vital role in creating an estate plan that suits your needs.
A trust is a legal entity that can own, transfer, and receive property. The person who creates the trust names a trustee and one or more beneficiaries. The trustee administers the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. There are multiple types of trusts, including revocable, irrevocable, living, and testamentary.
A will is a document that provides detailed instructions about who receives property that you own after you pass. A will also names a personal representative who carries out the document’s instructions and files the will with the appropriate probate court.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney allows you to name someone who can make certain decisions about your healthcare or property if you become incapacitated. There are two kinds of powers of attorney: a power of attorney for healthcare and a durable power of attorney for property. The healthcare power of attorney can also include instructions about whether you would like people to take extraordinary measures, such as life support, to revive you if you become unresponsive or enter a coma.
Payable on Death Instrument
A payable-on-death instrument is an asset that allows you to name a successor in the event of your passing. For example, you are the primary account holder of your bank account, but you likely have the option of naming someone who you would like to become the primary account holder when you pass away.
How Much Does Estate Planning Cost?
The cost of creating an estate plan varies greatly. Estate plans are often tailored specifically to a client’s situation, so gathering the information needed to craft a suitable strategy can take time, which can ultimately influence the total cost. Further, a client’s estate planning goals can change the amount of work involved and, therefore, the cost.
What Impacts Estate Planning Cost in Tennessee?
Many factors can impact the cost of creating an estate plan. Some factors that often influence how much creating an estate plan will cost include the size and complexity of the estate and the number and types of documents involved.
The Size of the Estate
The size of the estate can impact the cost of creating an estate plan. If someone has a large number of assets, the estate plan must account for more variables. Further, having a large estate gives someone more options for dividing their estate. For example, someone may wish to create a trust and name a charity as a beneficiary and also give property to loved ones.
The Type of Estate Planning Documents Involved
The type of estate planning documents required to put your plan in place influences the cost of preparing it. Some documents, such as a will or trust, require more information-gathering and preparation than others, like a power of attorney.
The Number of Estate Planning Documents
Whether the lawyer is charging a flat fee or by the hour, the number of estate planning documents involved may impact the overall cost of creating the plan. Some lawyers may charge a flat fee to prepare each legal instrument, while others may charge a flat fee for the entire matter or charge an hourly fee.
The Complexity of the Overall Estate Plan
Finally, the complexity of the overall estate plan may merit a higher or lower fee. The cost of basic estate plan documents will likely be less than that of creating a more complex estate plan.
Contact the Estate Plan Lawyers at Batson Nolan PLC
Creating an estate plan can be a challenging and emotional undertaking, but it can give you peace of mind to know that your affairs are in order. Our team helps make this an empowering experience by helping you craft a plan that meets your needs and goals. Batson Nolan PLC has helped hundreds of clients create tailor-made estate plans since the firm opened its doors in 1860. We have decades of experience helping our clients plan for the future, and we can help you do the same. If you have questions about your estate plan, contact our firm today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.