A trust is a legal entity that contains a set of instructions on exactly how and when to pass assets to trust beneficiaries. Trusts can be used for various purposes, including as a will substitute to avoid probate, maintain privacy, minimize taxes, protect assets from creditors, and preserve assets for future generations.
Trusts are a common estate planning tool used to meet a variety of estate planning goals. To maximize trust benefits, estate planning professionals frequently advise their clients to transfer real property into trusts. Placing real property in a trust can achieve estate planning goals like avoiding probate, reaping tax benefits, ensuring real property passes according to the client’s desires, and providing creditor protection.
There are several ways to make a will in Tennessee – through legal counsel, by writing your own, and in certain limited situation even by oral cantation. Tennessee statute sets forth the necessary requirements, and our case law contains a countless number of scenarios by which a will shall be deemed defective if not followed in accordance with the law.
There are many aspects of the law where it is only natural to overlook the important details when moving to another state. One of these important aspects is whether a validly executed will from another state will still be valid once moved to another state.
What happens when you own a piece of real property with another person or people – be they family members, friends, or even strangers – and you have differing views about what to do with it?
When a person dies intestate (without a valid will stating to whom the decedent’s property is to be distributed) in Tennessee, property can be divided multiple ways depending on the number and types of heirs-at-law, the type of property ownership involved, and whether the decedent has any valid debts. Many factors are involved which is why it is essential to understand your intestacy rights under Tennessee law when a spouse, parent, or other family member dies without a valid will.
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.
A will provides insight into a decedent’s final wishes, and a personal assessment of his or her personal relationships. If a person feels strongly that the contents of the will are invalid or that the will was procured by undue influence, then a will contest may be pursued under T.C.A. § 32-4-101 in the court holding proper jurisdiction.
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.
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.