A lot of people don’t know what to do or where to go when they need estate planning. At some point, people usually begin to think about what they are going to do with their children and assets in their absence. There are several different aspects to consider when drafting a will, including: a simple will, power of attorney, healthcare decisions, and a living will.
Aspects of Estate Planning and Will
Jay Kennamer of McMahan Law Firm went over these different parts of a will in this week’s ‘This N That’ on Chattanooga News Channel 9.
Who qualifies for a simple will?
Pretty much anyone who is of age can go ahead and create a simple will. Often it is young couples with children that begin to think about simple wills. They want to address what would happen in the unfortunate circumstance that a tragedy occurs to both parents. Later on in life, people also begin to think about simple wills. As a rule of thumb, if you are going to have a simple will, you generally need to have a million dollars or less in total property.
Power of Attorney
A will allows us to assign power of attorney, which addresses what takes place after you’re gone. Durable power of attorney will allow someone to take care of your assets, your debts, and will give them the authority to handle the decisions of your estate. Power of attorney lets someone take care of you when you are not able to take care of yourself.
To fully cover yourself, you want a simple will as well as a durable power of attorney for assets.
Power of Attorney with Healthcare
The Power of Attorney with Healthcare is very similar, but applies to healthcare decisions. It is where you designate someone to make decisions about your healthcare when you cannot. You may not be able to choose if you are having that surgery, but a power of attorney with healthcare allows someone to make that decision for you.
A living will takes the burden of making decisions regarding life support off of the of surviving family members. Before drafting this type of will, you need to think, “Would I want to lay there accumulating thousands of dollars of medical bills a day if the doctors say there is no chance for recovery?” With a living will, you can designate your answer to this question, and it will relieve family members from making the decision.
Why would you not want to write your own will?
There are some aspects of Tennessee law that make it easier to probate a will. You also want to make sure that your will is valid. There is no point in having a will if it is not valid, and then you will have the enormous cost of administration. Probating a simple will is a small cost, while administration is a huge cost.
If you have any questions about wills and estate planning, or if you have been injured in an accident, contact us at McMahan Law Firm. We are here to help the residents of Chattanooga, Knoxville, and East Tennessee.