The Importance of Estate Planning for Young Adults: What Parents Need to Know About the Law and a Child’s Eighteenth Birthday

Decorating a dorm room, rushing a fraternity or sorority, choosing a major, experiencing independence from parents, joining the workforce, taking a year off to decide what comes next – just a few things young adults can encounter after graduating from high school. Estate planning, however, is not usually on a young adult’s radar, but this is exactly when one should make sure some parts of the estate planning process are in order.

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Surviving Spouse Elective Share Rights in Tennessee

Under Tennessee statutory law, a surviving spouse may take an “elective share” of the deceased spouse’s estate in lieu of what has been provided for him or her in the will or through the laws of intestacy. This law provides a mechanism for protecting the rights of surviving spouses who may not have received what they consider a fair share of the decedent’s estate. For individuals concerned about having their wishes altered by such an election, several estate planning tools remain available to minimize the risks associated with the elective share.

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Revocation of a Will by Marriage, Divorce or Birth of a Child

When navigating the estate planning process, many individuals have questions regarding the durability of their wills and wonder how often they should be updating their documents. In considering these questions, take inventory of recent life events that may have occurred after a will’s execution as some of these milestones can trigger automatic revocation of a will.

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Spendthrift Trusts: Protecting the Beneficiary

There is an ever-present concern for providing the next generation with the right tools for success. While parents do their best to impart their own financial wisdom upon their children, some individuals require extra help. In terms of estate planning, this concern creates an additional need that is separate from personal asset protection and instead focuses on implementing strategies that protect intended beneficiaries from themselves.

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