Wills and Estate Planning

The concept of preparing a Last Will and Testament can be confusing, and you may think you do not have enough assets to prepare such a document, or pay for one. However, Wills serve many purposes, and the absence of one can cause your estate to fall under Tennessee intestate law. Where you may say to yourself, everything will go to my spouse anyway, so why have a Will? In actuality, Tennessee intestate law affords your spouse only a child’s share of your estate or one-third, whichever is greater. So in absence of a Will, your children are entitled to take part of your estate at the detriment of your widow(er). Tennessee law also provides for real estate to pass immediately to your heirs at the moment of your death if not included in a Will. If your desire is for your sister to own and maintain the family farm after your death and not your estranged son, you should include the farm in a Will or like estate planning document, such as a Family Trust. As a more practical matter for younger couples, you may have a plan of who you wish to be guardian(s) of your minor children should you predecease them. If not expressed in your Will, your children are subject to a potential dispute among relatives, or the State. These and other issues, such as specific bequests, potential Executors, Trustees, Guardians, etc. can be discussed with Tull Law Firm Senior Associate Megan E. Tull, who has many years of experience in this area.