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No one wants to think what happens after you pass away. What will become of your family? Will they be cared for if you die suddenly? And what happens if you become incapacitated? Is there a plan in place? These are all hard questions no one wants to answer. But one decision that shouldn’t be difficult is choosing an estate planning attorney to guide you through the process. The Nashville estate planning lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC understand how hard it is to make these decisions. That’s why we take the time and guide you through the process, giving you the peace of mind knowing that everything will be taken care of once you pass away or become debilitated.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of creating a plan detailing what will happen once you are gone. It’s more than just writing a will — through estate planning, you can choose who will administer your estate, plan for health care directives, make final arrangements, and protect your business.
At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, our estate planning services include:
Preparing a will
Creating any type of trust, including irrevocable life insurance trusts and gift trusts
Creating a conservatorship or guardianship
Protecting your wealth from divorce, creditors, and people outside the family
Creating health care directives, including preparation of powers of attorney for health care and property, living wills, and HIPAA authorizations
If you own a business, creating a succession plan
When Should You Start Planning?
It’s never too early or too late to start estate planning. It’s recommended that you start as soon as you get out of school and begin your career. Keep in mind that you should revisit your estate plans on a regular basis, especially if there are any major life events in your life.
If you are a young couple and with a young child, you will need to plan for a guardian if something happens to you and your spouse. You may also want to create a trust to hold your assets for your child until he/she reaches adulthood. You can also plan to use that trust to provide the financial care for your child.
If you’re middle age, your estate planning may be different. Chances are, you’ll have more assets than a young couple and you’ll want those assets to be protected. You may want to create trusts to minimize any possible estate and inheritance taxes.
And finally, as an older individual, you may be thinking about what can happen if you become disabled. This may include creating a living trust, figuring out a power of attorney for health care and conservatorship.
Why Worry about Estate Planning Now?
Many people often leave estate planning to the last minute, thinking that there’s always time to answer these important questions. In fact, according to AARP, 60 percent of Americans don’t have either a will or living trust because they either “hadn’t gotten around to it” or “don’t have enough assets to leave anyone.”
But this type of thinking can lead to being ill-prepared if something should occur. By not preparing for the future, the following could happen to your assets and your family. Remember, by failing to make these plans, you leave these decisions to the courts.
Our Tennessee Estate Planning Lawyers Are Here to Help
Don’t leave these decisions to the last minute. Now is the time to plan for your future and the future of your family. At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, our estate planning lawyers will guide you through the process with the compassion needed. With years of experience in estate planning and administration, we know how to best protect your assets and prepare for the unknown.
If you’re ready to create a trust, set up a power of attorney, or write your will, we’re here to help. Contact us at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC now for more information.