Chattanooga Estate Planning Lawyers
Estate planning is a critical part of protecting your long-term financial interests and securing your family’s financial future, no matter what stage of life you’re in. It’s a key way of organizing your assets and familial responsibilities and controlling what will become of them after you pass away.
Estates include far more than most people realize, including:
- Bank accounts
- Business interests
- Commercial and residential property
- Credit card debts, medical debts, loans, mortgages, and other financial obligations
- Investments and stock options
- Life insurance policies and retirement accounts
- Personal and household property
In addition to managing the distribution of these assets, estate plans also express your wishes regarding the administration of your estate and the guardianship of any dependents.
Overall, understanding all aspects of estate planning can seem confusing at first, but having a qualified attorney guiding you through each step makes it significantly easier and less stressful for everyone involved. Our experienced lawyers can provide counsel throughout the process and provide you with peace of mind that your family will be taken care of once you’re gone.
Contact our office today to discuss your specific situation and long-term goals with our estate planning lawyers in Chattanooga, Tullahoma, and Kingsport.
Estate Planning Services Throughout Tennessee and North Georgia
When it comes to estate planning strategies, there are a number of considerations that must be taken into account. The first step is understanding the basics—what estate planning actually involves. The main estate planning tools are wills and trusts. Each of these serves its own strategic purpose.
The will is the most basic estate planning strategy, and it is also the most comprehensive. It is the document that outlines how you would like your assets distributed to your loved ones (your beneficiaries), as well as names the person you want to oversee and administer your estate (your executor or personal representative). If you have dependents, such as children under 18 or loved ones who require physical and medical attention, you can also use a will to appoint any guardians.
It’s also important to know that wills must go through a public legal process known as probate. This process can be simple or extremely complex, depending on how well you organized your estate prior to your passing. In the very worst cases, families may challenge wills and fight over assets in probate. Probate may also result in your assets getting liquidated to pay off creditors or it may assign debts to loved ones.
Trusts give you a legal option for allocating assets without subjecting them to probate. In most trusts, you can designate someone to manage your property while you’re alive, most often yourself, and another person to distribute the trust assets after your death. These are popular estate planning tools because they offer a number of strategic benefits, such as tax savings, private transfers, asset protection, and more.
There are various trusts that can be used in estate planning, depending on your needs. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Trusts do not often stand on their own but are paired with wills to result in strong and effective estate plans.
How Can an Estate Planning Lawyer Help Me?
At Tom Bible Law, our estate planning lawyers know the rules and regulations that govern the various aspects of estate administration, such as property transfer, real estate, probate, and more. They can help you account for these laws, make sure your wishes are clear, and draft wills and trusts that will hold up in probate court.
Depending on your specific situation, you may also need additional documentation to ensure guardianship arrangements, assign fiduciary duties, itemize your assets, coordinate payouts from pensions and life insurance policies, and so forth. Like wills, these legal documents strongly benefit from the insight of a professional attorney.
Give us a call today at (423) 690-7712 to arrange a consultation with our Chattanooga estate planning attorneys.
Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (423) 690-7712.