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For Tennessee residents, estate planning is one of the most misunderstood areas of their finances. People assume that this type of planning is only for their death, so they shy away from discussing it with their family. The truth is that estate planning is so much more, and everyone needs to have an estate plan no matter how much money they have.

The obvious reasons to have an estate plan is that it will keep the family from having a long, drawn-out court battle over the deceased person’s assets. Certain estate plans can even keep the estate out of probate altogether. However, an estate plan will also cover certain decisions that are made while a person is still alive, such as advance care directives and powers of attorney. If there is no estate plan, these issues will present problems when key decisions need to be made.

An estate plan is much easier than people think with the right kind of professional help. It is a matter of outlining priorities and getting organized. Then it becomes easier to make arrangements that will come in handy when they are necessary. The estate plan must be renewed periodically as life situations change. Estate planning is an ongoing matter that goes on over a person’s entire lifetime because what is on the documents dictates what happens to him or her.

An estate planning attorney can make the process more manageable and easier for families who are afraid of what it entails. Estate planning is something that is not necessarily conducive to a DIY approach because a mistake in the documents can have drastic consequences. A lawyer could help ensure that the planning is done right and without errors, so families can have peace of mind knowing that their estate plan is established and correct.