Mt. Juliet and Lebanon TN

An estate plan allows you to express your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after your death. A well-crafted estate plan serves as a guide for your loved ones during an emotionally trying time. However, not having an estate plan, or setting up a plan that has problems, can cause resentment and chaos for your heirs while they also deal with the grieving process. The Law Office of Yancy Belcher wants to help you avoid these situations.

Here are four sure-fire ways to save your loved ones from stress and strife when setting up an estate plan in Nashville

  1. Selecting an executor – More often than you would believe, appointing a relative or close friend to execute your will can create a major divide. Certain loved ones may feel slighted they weren’t chosen. Or, the appointed executor may also drag their feet, ignore the family, or ghost on contacting anyone regarding the settling of the estate. Instead, we recommend naming your estate executor based upon skill—such as a corporate trustee or professional fiduciary. This can help your grieving loved ones mourn rather than spending time struggling with one another. If you have a large estate (roughly a personal value of over $500,000), many banks provide a trustee. A fiduciary is used more commonly for smaller estates. Just remember that no matter who you name to be the executor of your estate plan, it has to be your choice and this decision should never be rushed.
  2. Don’t forget personal property – When your loved ones are left with nothing but their memories and your personal belongings, you will be surprised to find that the littlest things can cause the biggest disputes. Small items like childhood toys, holiday decorations, and even costume jewelry can have major sentimental value and trigger the hardest battles. Yancy Belcher often recommends sitting down with your close relatives, either together or separately, to discuss the things they would like to claim. If an agreement can’t be reached when you’re there to play mediator, you can only imagine how the negotiations will go while they’re also grieving. Once you know what items can’t be agreed on, then you can get ahead of the issue and chose to sell anything that may cause controversy.
  3. Avoid tying up money with provisions or clauses – Providing for our loved ones after we pass is usually the primary goal of planning an estate. We understand that you want to make sure those you leave behind will be adequately supported when you can’t be there to help. While it can be dangerous to dump large sums of money on one person, particularly if they’re too young to handle that financial windfall responsibly, estate provisions can cause trouble because they can tie up assets for decades. Age-based restrictions on estate provisions can cause resentment between family members and make an inheritance feel more like a punishment. Yancy Belcher, an estate planning attorney in Mt. Juliet, understands that you want your family to be cared for when you’re gone, but placing terms on an inheritance can feel like you’re telling people you don’t trust them to make decisions in their lives.
  4. Be fair – Leaving your children different items or unequal inheritances, no matter the reason, can cause hurt feelings. Let’s say you have a child that is less successful financially, and you want to help them fix any problems they may have. Or, you could also be in a situation where one child provided more care for you towards the end of your life, and you want them to know it was appreciated. No matter the reason, this inequality probably will be perceived as being unfair and create a rift between your children and loved ones. Your Nashville estate attorney Yancy Belcher finds that, in situations like this, staying open and communicating with your children often helps ease those personal struggles. It also can stop them from resenting each other for years to come.

Estate Planning in Nashville

For 20 years, Yancy Belcher has been helping clients in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, and Hermitage, Tennessee prepare for the inevitable with his estate planning services. He’s ready to help you. We offer free consultations to all potential clients. Call (615) 773-2889 or contact us online.


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