Compassionate Legal Assistance in Tennessee
There is no getting around it: Every person must face death and taxes. You should decide what happens to your assets, loved ones, and legacy once you pass away – not the courts or the government. Estate planning allows you to take control of your future and protect what is most important to you.
Our Chattanooga estate planning lawyers are ready to provide the straightforward guidance you deserve. Our team at Kuebler Sanders Law will work closely with you to understand your needs and implement tools designed to achieve your goals.
Start exploring Chattanooga estate planning solutions today. Call (423) 427-4498 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Every adult should have an estate plan, no matter their age, health, or financial circumstances. When someone does not have an estate plan, they have no control over what will happen when they pass away or become incapacitated. As a resource for those beginning the estate planning process, the University of Tennessee has created an Estate Planning Tools document to guide your plan.
If you are incapacitated in an accident and are not able to communicate, you will have no say in your medical treatment without an estate plan in place. Your loved ones will also likely have difficulty paying your bills or managing your affairs. Proactive estate planning allows you to provide instructions and appoint agents to act on your behalf in these scenarios.
Should you pass away without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed under Tennessee’s intestacy laws. This means your property will be divided amongst your most immediate surviving relatives. You will also have no opportunity to recommend a guardian for your minor children. It is therefore in everyone’s best interest to write and regularly update a will. If you wish to avoid the worst consequences of probate, it may also be wise to consider other types of estate planning documents.
Our Chattanooga Estate Planning Services
Our team at Kuebler Sanders Law has been there and done that: We know the most common planning mistakes and how to avoid them. We also work to implement streamlined planning strategies that work to avoid probate issues as much as possible.
Our Chattanooga estate planning lawyers can assist you with:
- Wills. In your last will and testament, you can name beneficiaries to your assets, a guardian for your minor children, and a personal representative to manage your estate once you pass away. A will must be properly witnessed and signed in order to be enforceable in Tennessee. Your will is also a matter of public record and comes with certain limitations, including no control over when your property is ultimately distributed. We can help you write, validate, and make changes to your will.
- Trusts. When you create a trust, you appoint a trustee to oversee assets placed in the trust. The trustee will be responsible for following all trust instructions and ultimately distributing trust assets to your chosen beneficiaries. Living trusts are modifiable and can function similarly to wills. Unlike wills, trusts are private and more customizable, and a trust’s assets are in most cases not subject to probate. Irrevocable trusts cannot be modified but can be used to achieve asset protection, avoid federal estate taxes, and obtain other significant benefits. Our firm can implement complex trusts that suit your objectives.
- Advance Directives. Your advance directives should contain instructions for the types of medical care you wish to receive or not receive in situations where you are incapacitated. We can ensure your wishes are unambiguous and enforceable.
- Powers of Attorney. When you appoint a power of attorney, you choose a trusted person who will act on your behalf. In many cases, you can specify that your chosen agent’s powers only “activate” when you become incapacitated. A medical power of attorney advocates for you in healthcare settings using your advance directives, while a financial power of attorney handles other types of affairs. We are prepared to serve as your power of attorney and can help you complete the applicable authorization documents.
- Estate Administration. Probate is the court process through which an estate is settled and can easily overwhelm the deceased’s surviving loved ones. A personal representative appointed in the deceased’s will or by the court will be responsible for inventorying and appraising assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing property. Probate can quickly become an expensive and time-consuming process, especially if there are challenges to the legitimacy of the will or other unexpected complications. Our Chattanooga estate planning lawyers are prepared to serve as your personal representative so that your loved ones can focus on grieving when you pass. We can also assist appointed personal representatives with navigating the probate process and fulfilling all legal responsibilities.
Contact us online or call (423) 427-4498 to get started on your Chattanooga estate plan. Same-day appointments are available.