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Make an Achievable 2015 New Year’s Resolution – Get an Estate Plan Checkup!


With 2015 right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your new year's resolutions. It doesn't matter whether you have an estate plan or don't, one important item to add to your list is getting an estate plan checkup. Don't Have an Estate Plan? If you don't already have an estate plan, then getting one in place should be at the top of your 2015 new year's resolutions. Why? Because without an estate plan, you and your property may end up in a court-supervised guardianship if you become incapacitated, and your property and your loved ones may end up in probate court after you die. Worse yet, if you don't take the time to make your own will, then the state where you live at the time of your death will essentially write one for you, and it most likely won't divvy up your property the way you would have. A common misconception is that estate planning is only necessary for wealthy people. But this simply isn't true - anyone with a bank or a retirement account, a home, or a family needs to make a plan for what happens if they become incapacitated or when they die. Of course the complexity of a plan will vary depending on your circumstances, but all estate plans should be put together with the help of an attorney who is experienced with the legal formalities required to create a valid will, trust, health care directive, and power of attorney in your state. Do you already have an estate plan? How old is your estate plan? If you do, then please pull your documents out of the drawer, dust them off, and look at the date you signed them. Were your documents signed in the 80s or 90s, or, worse yet, before 1980? Then please run, don't walk, to an estate planning attorney, because your documents are terribly out of date and need to be brought into the new millennium as soon as possible. Did you sign your documents between 2000 and 2009? Aside from the federal estate tax exemption jumping from $675,000 to $3,500,000 during that time period, state estate taxes disappeared in many states. Because of the significant changes in federal and state estate taxes, documents from this time period can be out of date and need to be tweaked in some shape or form. Did you sign your documents during 2010, 2011, or 2012? Federal estate taxes, gift taxes, and generation-skipping transfer taxes went through major changes during these years, and 'portability' of the federal estate tax exemption between married couples was introduced. Unfortunately, while your estate planning documents may only be a few years old, they very likely do not take advantage of the opportunities made available from recent changes in federal tax laws. And, it's not just tax laws that are changing - modifications to state laws governing wills, trusts, health care directives, and powers of attorney may warrant some revisions to your estate planning documents as well. Last but not least, regardless of what year you signed your estate planning documents, think about all of the changes in your life since you signed them. Did you get married or divorced, have a child or two or a grandchild or two, or move to a new state? Did you sell your business, retire, have a significant change in assets, or win the lottery? Any major changes in your family or financial situation will certainly have an affect on your estate plan. ESTATE PLANNING IS NOT A ONE SHOT DEAL!! Estate planning is not a static event that you grudgingly do once and then forget about it. On the contrary, estate planning is a continuing process, because life is a moving target that is full of constant change, so your estate plan needs to change as your life changes.

About the Company:

Heritage Law Group, PLLC is a boutique Estate Planning and Elder Law firm assisting residents in Tennessee and Kentucky. We are dedicated to providing client-centered, professional legal services that are individualized through one-on-one consultations. We delight in empowering our clients and community through education and providing specialized resources. Our integrity-driven team will help you protect your legacy while delivering outstanding quality at a reasonable cost.

Owner, Jake Mason, J.D., LL.M. (Elder Law & Estate Planning), EPLS, is board-certified in Estate Planning and Probate, accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and licensed in Kentucky and Tennessee. Contact us to schedule a consultation at (615) 989-7054 or info@planyourlegacy.com.

Your Legacy Is Our Priority™

SUMNER COUNTY

Mason & Associates Law Firm

1526 Hunt Club Boulevard, Suite 550

Gallatin, Tennessee 37066

Phone (615) 989-7054

Fax (615) 751-5208

info@planyourlegacy.com

NASHVILLE

 

Mason & Associates Law Firm

1033 Demonbreun Street, Suite 300

Nashville, Tennessee 37023

(615) 619-2791

Visiting this site does not create an attorney-client relationship with Mason & Associates Law Firm. Tennessee law requires notification that this is an advertisement and this website is not intended to provide legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, you must seek it by speaking directly to a licensed attorney. While our firm welcomes feedback, we cannot accept a new legal matter without making sure there is no conflict of interest with other client matters in which we are already involved and there is no other conflict of interest that might prevent us from representing you. Unless otherwise noted, all Mason & Associates Law Firm attorneys are generally licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee. Attorney Jacob Mason is also licensed to practice law in the State of Kentucky. Every situation is unique and you should not act on information contained in this website without seeking advice from a legal professional specific to your particular situation. 

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