Experienced Springfield Estate Planning Attorneys Ready To Serve You
Mention the words “estate planning,” and many people immediately think of making a will. But estate planning encompasses more than wills. It can include wills, trusts, assigning power of attorney for one or more purposes, and more. Estate planning is necessary for ensuring that the assets you spent your life accumulating get distributed according to your desires after you die. An experienced Springfield estate planning lawyer can even help you get the most out of your money right now while you are still alive.
The worst thing to do is wait for a crisis before giving serious thought to planning for your family’s future. Otherwise, a judge who doesn’t know you or your family will distribute your assets according to state law.
The complexity of an estate plan depends on the size of your estate and how detailed a plan you wish to leave. But it is faster and less complicated to formulate your plan ahead of time than most people think. The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies just as strongly to your financial health as it does to your physical health. So get the preventative ball rolling by speaking to our knowledgeable Springfield estate planning attorneys at Batson Nolan PLC today.
The most important reasons for creating an estate plan are to maximize your family’s inheritance, to minimize the taxes they must pay on that inheritance, and to make the process of transferring your assets as easy and painless as possible for those you leave behind. But creating a solid plan can accomplish other things you may not have thought of. It can:
- Ensure that persons of your choosing have fiduciary control over your estate;
- Ensure that persons of your choosing have guardianship over any minors or special needs loved ones you leave behind;
- Protect assets from unforeseen creditors;
- Ensure that assets are distributed to only those you choose;
- Provide for any special needs of a loved one; and
- Ensure that only persons of your choosing have decision-making authority for you should you become incapacitated.
We have multiple tools in our toolbox to assist you in making these important decisions legally binding.
My wife and I contacted Batson Nolan to help us with our estate planning documents after being referred by a close friend. We did not have what we believed were enough assets to need formal estate planning, but the attorneys explained in easy to understand terms why making our wishes known was important, particularly for our children. The process didn’t take long, and we are much more comfortable knowing that our assets will be distributed in the manner we chose.
– Thomas C.
Tools Used to Plan Your Estate
The tools we most frequently use for estate planning are wills, trusts of various types, and powers of attorney.
Writing a valid will is one of the primary ways to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your desires after you die. Wills must meet certain requirements in Tennessee:
- They must be executed by a person of sound mind;
- The testator must be 18 years of age or older;
- The testator must sign the document; and
- At least two other witnesses (preferably not beneficiaries) must sign the document as well.
While these requirements may seem simple, judges can invalidate a contested will if any reason exists to doubt its authenticity. A Springfield estate planning attorney can make certain that your will is in top legal shape. Remaining in contact with your lawyer can also ensure that your well-drafted will continues to reflect your wishes as your circumstances change over the years.
There are several types of trusts that serve various purposes. As estate planning tools, trusts can:
- Distribute your assets after your death;
- Help provide for a smooth transition of your assets during your lifetime if you become incapacitated;
- Help your beneficiaries avoid the expense and hassles of probate;
- Help your family legally avoid unnecessary inheritance taxes;
- Provide ongoing care for a loved one with special needs; and
- Stop an irresponsible loved one from blowing their entire inheritance in a short period of time.
For these reasons and more, many people use a trust instead of a will.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the power to act for you in certain circumstances. It allows you to appoint specific individuals to make financial or health decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
Experienced Springfield Estate Planning Lawyers Can Help
Planning what happens to your estate when you die is not a do-it-yourself task. People who download a will form from the internet and fill in the blanks have no idea that this document can be useless if it hasn’t met certain requirements. And over the years, life changes. That do-it-yourself will you created 15 years ago may not be ideal for your life today or 30 years from now. Using a seasoned estate planning lawyer from Batson Nolan PLC can save your loved ones much grief upon your demise. Not only will our lawyer help you build the best plan for your current situation, but we can also help update your plan as circumstances change over the years. Call our lawyers today or contact us online to set up a free consultation in our Clarksville or Springfield office.