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The Importance Of Estate Planning

Why create an estate plan sooner than later? Estate planning is a process that involves preparing documents like wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives to manage your assets and health care decisions.

While many people still think estate planning is just something for old people, the truth of the matter is that creating or updating an estate plan should be a high priority for everyone over the age of 18 years old. It is the key to effectively managing asset distribution, making informed decisions, and protecting your interests during life and after death.

At Duncan, Holland & Fleenor, P.C., we will assist you with creating a plan that reflects your wealth preservation goals. Regardless of age or wealth, estate planning is critical for being in control of your assets and making informed life decisions.

What Is The Big Deal About Estate Planning?

Comprehensive estate planning protects you and your loved ones by ensuring assets are subject to distribution as you wish. This can avoid court control and prevent family disputes. Without a plan, the courts distribute assets, causing delays and expenses. And sometimes, unintended beneficiaries. A well-crafted estate plan allows for a smooth transition of ownership and clear asset distribution guidance.

Estate planning also covers potential incapacitation, allowing you to make financial and medical decisions in advance. This includes life-prolonging treatment preferences and appointing someone to handle finances. We can guide you through these personal decisions, securing your family’s future against unforeseen events and reducing tax burdens and probate costs.

What Are The Components Of An Estate Plan?

Your will is a key document expressing your post-death property wishes. If your circumstances warrant, creating a trust or trusts will manage asset distribution to beneficiaries, avoid probate, and allow asset management during incapacitation. As a grantor, you can choose a trustee or act as one, but keep in mind you will also need to name a successor trustee to handle matters after your passing.

A power of attorney designates someone to manage your financial affairs if you are incapacitated, avoiding court intervention, and ensuring your assets are handled as you would want. It is a proactive step to protect your financial well-being.

Health care directives specify your health care preferences if incapacitated, ensuring medical wishes are followed and relieving family members from making tough decisions. It covers life-sustaining treatment choices and end-of-life care, providing clarity during difficult times.

We Can Answer Your Questions. Contact Us Today.

In addition to personalized estate planning, we can help you with will contests, difficult probate issues and probate litigation. Call 423-635-7147 in Chattanooga to schedule an appointment regarding estate planning. You can also reach Duncan, Holland & Fleenor, P.C., by sending us an email.