Wills FAQ

There are many misconceptions out there when it comes to preparing a valid will. At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, we know you have questions. Take a look at this wills FAQ page and these common questions and concerns and then, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

Can wills be changed?

A will can be changed in Tennessee if you create a codicil. A codicil is more or less an amendment to a preexisting will that meets the same state requirements. 

Be mindful that simply crossing out sections and writing new ones does not make your will valid. You need to follow the same steps to make sure your amendments are valid. 

Do wills need to be notarized in Tennessee?

Tennessee wills do not need to be notarized but it can speed up the probate process.

What are will requirements in Tennessee?

To have a valid will in Tennessee, you must sign your will in front of two witnesses, and then, have the witnesses sign the will in front of you and one another.

Who should get a copy of my will?

Once you have created a valid will, any beneficiaries named are entitled to a copy of the will so they can understand what they are entitled to. In addition, if any beneficiaries are minors, you will want to give a copy to his or her legal guardian on their behalf.

What is the difference between a will and other estate planning documents?

A will determines how your assets will be distributed upon your death. Estate planning is the broad term that encompasses all of the documents which prepare for your end of life wishes, healthcare needs and financial planning which needs to take place if you cannot do so yourself.

Is a will enough?

A will is not enough when it comes to estate planning. A will only covers your assets once you pass, it does not encompass how you want trusts, insurance policies, etc. to be handled. In addition, a will does not cover the end of life needs if you are still alive, but in a state in which you cannot make decisions for yourself.

Is it better to have a will or a trust?

For some people, it is best to have both a will and a trust. A trust determines how you want your assets handled on behalf of your beneficiaries for when you pass. However, there are different types of trusts for different needs. 

Some individuals may not need both a will and a trust, which is why it is best to consult with an attorney.

What type of attorney do I need to write a will?

To create a valid will in Tennessee, you need a trusted estate planning attorney–like those of us at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC. We can guide you through the will creation process as well as evaluate what other estate planning measures should be taken.

Visit our Tennessee wills page for more information or contact Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC today.

arrow-up