Franklin Estate Planning & Probate Attorney
Everyone has an estate. You have one, your friends and family have one. Estates can vary in size, but even if yours is small, that does not make it unimportant. You likely have something of value, such as a bank account, furniture, art collection, home, stocks, retirement account, vehicle, and other items of value.
You can’t take your assets with you when you die, so you need an estate plan. An estate plan typically consists of a will or trust and outlines who will get your possessions when you die.
While some people think the estate planning process does not apply to them, the truth is that it applies to every adult, whether you’re old or young, rich or poor. Once a person turns 18 years old, they can begin the estate planning process. Are you ready? Contact the Franklin estate planning & probate attorneys of Beal, Nations & Crutcher to get started.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is essentially making a plan in advance. It uses legal documents to name the people or organizations you want to receive your possessions when you die. It involves taking the appropriate steps now so that carrying out the specifics becomes easy when you die. Good estate planning should incorporate the following aspects:
- What will happen if you become incapacitated
- Provisions for disability or life insurance to replace your income or provide for your family
- If you have a business, what will happen to it upon your death
- If you have minor children, who will act as their guardian
- Financially supporting any family members with special needs
- Providing protection for any loved ones who may be irresponsible with money
- Transferring assets while minimizing taxes and fees
What is Probate?
Probate is the process your estate goes through after you die. While having a will or trust can be helpful, a will does not prevent probate. It just outlines how assets will be distributed once they go through probate court. Only a trust can eliminate the need for probate.
Probate is a long and costly process, which is why many people try to eliminate it if possible. The process varies from state to state, but attorney’s fees and court costs can make the process costly. The process can also take as long as two years, depending on the complexity of the assets. Probate proceedings are also open to the public, which means that excluded heirs can try to get their share of the estate. Plus, creditors may come out of the woodwork to claim their share of any debts. The court system controls the probate process, so you may not get any assets right away. Be patient.
Contact Us Today
You’re never too young to start planning your estate. Get started today and ensure that your assets are distributed per your wishes. The state has a plan if you die without one, but you may not want it.
The law firm of Beal, Nations & Crutcher can help you find the right estate planning tools to fit your needs. Contact us today to get started. Call our office at (615) 861-2304.