One of the goals that many people have when developing their estate plan is to provide money for the educational needs of their children, grandchildren and possibly even future generations. Often, this is accomplished by setting up one or more educational trusts.
If you have a child or other loved one for whom you're responsible who has a physical and/or mental disability, you likely are concerned about making sure that they receive the care they need if they outlive you. That means making sure that there's money available for that care. Special needs trusts are generally the best way to do that. They can also help protect your loved one's own money as well as government benefits while you're still alive.
If you've begun developing your estate plan, or at least thinking about it, you know that one of the most important decisions you'll need to make is who will be the executor. This is the person who will, as the name implies, "execute" your plan and see that all of your wishes are carried out, in accordance with the law. It's an important responsibility.
Like most things in life, finding out how (or if) you've been included in a loved one's estate plan after they're gone isn't like you've seen on TV or in the movies. It's not a group of family members sitting in a lawyer's office finding out if they're going to be millionaires or if they'll have to drive that 2002 Toyota Corolla for a little longer.
Recently, we discussed the importance of choosing the right administrators for your estate -- the executors and trustees who will help ensure that your wishes are carried out. However, if you have children, the choice of a guardian is probably the most important decision you'll make as you develop your plan.
If you're preparing to put your estate plan in place, you're taking an important step that many people put off until it's too late. You'll have a number of crucial decisions to make as you work with your Tennessee attorney to create your plan.