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Estate Planning Lawyers

In legal terms, your estate includes your cash, real estate, cars, and any other assets you own, along with any debts that you owe. Estate planning then is the set of preparations you make for how you want your estate handled upon your death or if you become incapacitated. This type of plan is an essential process because it can help preserve family wealth, ensure that your spouse and children are provided for, and allow you to leave a legacy.

What Is Included in Your Estate Plan?

Every estate plan is different depending on your circumstances, but estate plans include some essential components, as estate planning lawyers from Memphis, TN like one from Patterson Bray, can explain.

  • Your last will and testament outlines how you want your assets distributed when you die.
  • Trusts set forth any contributions you wish to make to charitable organizations or money you want to leave to minor children.
  • The executor for your estate is the person you trust to carry out your wishes upon your death.
  • Your wishes for your funeral or memorial service are part of your estate plan.
  • The names of the adults you want to serve as guardians to your minor children can be part of your estate plan; however, custody provisions are always subject to the family courts’ approval.
  • Estate plans often include strategies to reduce tax liability.
  • The establishment of medical and legal powers of attorney designate those who can make decisions for you if you die or become incapacitated.

Is Life Insurance Part of Estate Planning?

Life insurance can play an essential role in your estate plan. For example, establishing a life insurance policy in an amount that will pay your taxes and cover your final expenses may help your family avoid selling assets for these purposes. Leaving life insurance proceeds to your heirs allows them to inherit tax-free in most cases. Life insurance funds can also pay off business debts and liabilities.

Where Can I Get Help With My Estate Plan?

Developing an estate plan should start as soon as you have assets. You can always update it as your goals change. Keep in mind that laws related to estate planning vary by state, and mistakes can be costly. To make sure that your estate plan complies with all regulatory requirements, seek out the help of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney in your area. Taking care of these things now can help minimize the stress that your family feels upon your passing.