Wills & Estate Planning

Wills

Planning for the future is important at any stage of life. If you’re married, starting a family, caring for a family member or willsestateplanningbrentwooddivorcelawyerwatching over an aging parent, you need to speak with an experienced wills and estate planning attorney. Ms. Castles is prepared to help you plan by drafting a will, power of attorney or durable power of attorney for healthcare.

It is important to know that, if you are married, your spouse can choose to take what he or she would be entitled to under Tennessee law rather than according to your will. This can be an important piece of information for blended families, when children from prior relationships are involved.

Some assets may pass simply according to whose names are on the title, i.e. a house, bank account or vehicle. Others pass according to contractual provisions, such as who you designate as a beneficiary for a life insurance policy or retirement account.

Either way, putting time into an estate plan can save your family time, money and, often, conflict.

Probate

The probate process begins after the death of an individual. This process opens the person’s estate, gives notice to all beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries, gives notice to the decedent’s creditors, resolves claims against the estate, and collects and distributes assets. Each estate must receive a TennCare clearance and an inheritance tax clearance. With some large estates, tax returns must be filed and taxes paid before any distribution of the assets.

If you have just lost a loved one and need help administering his or her estate, contact our office today to discuss what needs to be done.

Will Contest

During a will contest, a beneficiary or potential beneficiary can challenge the means by which the will was created, essentially challenging the validity of the will. This might occur because of vague language in the will or because the deceased individual did not have capacity to drat a will when it was created. It might also be because the will was not properly executed or because someone placed pressure on the deceased to leave property to someone he or she would not otherwise have included.

If you have questions or concerns about the validity of a loved one’s will, contact our office to discuss your options.

Conservatorship

If you are now caring for your elderly parents and they are increasingly unable to make wise decisions for themselves, you may request to be appointed as a conservator.  You would then be able to manage their financial affairs and to make medical and daily decisions for them. This option is also available for mentally or physically disabled adults, even if they are young.

If you care for a disabled child or sibling, contact our office today to learn how you can be appointed as his or her conservator, allowing you to care for and manage their affairs.

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