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Who Needs Estate Planning?

Many people may hear the term “estate plan” and mistakenly think that it does not apply to them. There are a number of misconceptions regarding estate planning. Some may think that only older or retired people should have an estate plan. Others may think that only those with sizeable assets should have an estate plan. However, these thoughts could not be further from the truth. In reality, everyone needs an estate plan. Preparation is critical to so much in life. Because of life’s uncertainties, it is important to set forth your estate plan early.

Many may not realize it, but estate planning should begin at a fairly young age. Specifically, estate planning can be done by anyone 18 or older. Upon reaching the age of majority, 18 in Tennessee, the law recognizes that individuals are legally able to make decisions for themselves. As a result, doctors, courts, or other people needing to know the person’s wishes will turn to certain estate planning documents first rather than a person’s family members or loved ones.

Similarly, estate planning can be beneficial to those with minor children. Estate planning can enable a parent to set forth who may care for a minor child in the event that something happens to a parent. In addition, estate planning can set forth an individual to manage any money inherited from a parent. You can also specify at what age a child may inherit money. Otherwise, a child may receive a lump sum at the seemingly young age of 18. Without designating individuals in an estate plan, the court would be left to determine who would care for the children or who would manage the money a child inherited until the child has reached the age of 18. It is obviously best to set forth your own wishes for the care of your children.

While many people may think that estate planning should apply only to those who are established in their careers, estate planning is important to anyone with a career. Whether you have just landed your first job or you are getting close to retirement, you should set forth an estate plan. Developing an estate plan sets forth and documents your wishes to different aspects of your life including your health care, assets, or other areas.

Whether you are married, single, divorced, remarried, have kids, have siblings, retired, or are just starting in the workforce, it is important to set forth an estate plan. Start by talking with your loved ones about setting up an estate plan to determine what your family’s needs are. After talking with your loved ones, be sure to contact an estate planning attorney who can let you know which legal documents will best meet your family’s needs. However, it is important not to put off setting up an estate plan. You will want to have one in place before you ever need it.

If you have questions about your estate plan, be sure to contact a Tennessee estate planning attorney at The Higgins Firm. Our Nashville based estate team would be happy to answer any questions you may have related to your estate plan.