What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning refers to the development of instructions that dictate how your estate will be managed after you pass away. Having an estate plan will ensure that the state will follow your orders regarding how you want your assets distributed. If you have intended beneficiaries, naming them in your plan makes it much easier and faster for them to receive any inheritance that you pass down. 

What should be included in an estate plan?

An estate plan contains important documents that provide information about your wishes for your estate as well as your preferences for the medical care that you will receive in the future. These documents include a will, living will, trust, and medical directives. Should an event occur that results in your incapacitation and inability to clearly communicate, your medical team and loved ones will refer to your estate plan. 

What mistakes should I avoid?

Many people tend to put off working on their estate plan until a major life event or emergency happens. However, an estate plan should be developed well before you have to go through a sudden life event. It is better if you have it prepared and complete with the documents that you need. Another mistake that people make regarding estate planning is not consulting with their loved ones about their goals and preferences, such as concerning their medical needs. 

Can I update my estate plan? 

Once you have made an estate plan, you should not just finish it and never look at it again. Think of your estate plan as a living document that should be continuously updated. Review your plan periodically and make any necessary changes, such as after life events like marriage, death of a relative or the birth of a child. Your plan should always be current and contain the most up to date information and instructions. 

Why should I hire an estate planning lawyer? 

Managing your estate is a process that should be done earlier than later. Many people do not think that making an estate plan is necessary, but it offers a host of benefits, such as protecting your estate and ensuring your loved ones receive their inheritance. If you are at a loss at handling your estate and are not sure how to begin, a trusted and experienced estate planning lawyer in Memphis, TN, like one at Patterson Bray PLLC.

Hiring a lawyer to help you with your estate plan has many benefits. Developing an estate plan often takes a lot of time, and you need to have a strong understanding of estate laws so that you can make a suitable plan that meets the legal requirements. An estate plan lawyer can also suggest ways you can better secure your assets from the wrong hands and decrease your estate taxes. 

A trusted estate plan lawyer like one from Patterson Bray PLLC can guide you through the estate planning process. Learn more by scheduling a consultation with a qualified lawyer to discuss your goals.  

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