Frequently Asked Questions—Estate Planning

Estate planning involves a range of legal issues that substantially impact the future for you and your loved ones.

Estate planning is a mystery to many. Most may have a basic understanding of wills, but there is so much more to estate planning. Some of the most commonly asked questions regarding estate planning, include:

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is all about reflecting on the future and the future needs of you and your loved ones. It involves making decisions about how you want your assets distributed after you pass away. Estate planning also includes determining who will make important financial and health care decisions on your behalf should you ever be incapacitated.

What is a will?

One of the most popular estate planning tools is a will. A will is a legal document that will govern the distribution of your assets after you die. Your will also names the administer of your estate who will oversee the distribution of your assets in the probate administration process.

Can the validity of a will be challenged?

Absolutely. The validity of a will can be challenged on a number of grounds, such as:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity;
  • Undue influence; and
  • Failure to meet legal requirements during the will’s execution.

What is a living trust?

A living trust is a popular device that, like a will, distributes assets to designated beneficiaries upon your death. A living trust has the added benefit of avoiding the probate process which allows trust beneficiaries to receive the proceeds from the trust immediately without further expense or delay. You effectively transfer legal ownership of your assets to the trust and the assets are held in the trust for the benefit of your beneficiaries. You are able to serve as trustee and, therefore, maintain control over your assets held in trust during your life time.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney can serve many important purposes and become effective immediately or upon the occurrence of a particular event such as if you were ever to become incapacitated. You can establish a financial power of attorney which grants legal authority to another person to handle financial affairs on your behalf. This can include everything from paying bills to managing investments. A healthcare power or attorney will designate another person to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make them for yourself. The person you grant healthcare power of attorney to will be allowed to make decisions regarding end of life care and life sustaining treatment treatment options.

Get informed about the important process of estate planning today. The knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley will answer all of your estate planning questions and create an estate plan that meets the unique needs of you and your family. Contact Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley today online, or call 615-893-1331 to schedule a free consultation.