Chambliss Estate Planning Essentials brings you legal developments and other trends of vital interest in the world of estate planning. This post is brought to you by Jennifer Kent Exum and other members of the Estate Planning Practice Group of Chambliss Law Firm.
Chambliss Law Firm Monthly Editorial
Begin with the End in Mind
by Jennifer Kent Exum
In "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," Stephen Covey wrote that we should "begin with the end in mind." In the context of an estate plan, this means that we must consider how that plan will be carried out once it has matured.
I occupy a unique position on the Chambliss Law estate planning team as a planner who administers estates and litigates estate-related matters as the majority of my practice. Given my experience with hundreds of estate administrations over the course of my career, I am often consulted in the planning stages, especially when the client is planning with the end in mind. I am asked to review the circumstances of family issues, illness, possible incapacity, medical diagnoses, memory issues, and similar factors that could hinder the smooth administration of an estate plan. While there is no method to completely insulate an estate and prevent a will contest, there are steps that can and should be taken to support the likelihood that the estate plan will withstand a future challenge. [Click to read the full article.]
Updating Your Estate Plan When Your Finances Change
If your estate has changed in value -- either increased or decreased -- do you need to change your will?
Preventing a Will Contest
It may be impossible to keep relatives from fighting over your will entirely, but there are steps you can take to try to minimize squabbles and ensure your wishes are carried out.
Powers of Attorney Come in Different Flavors
A power of attorney is a very important estate planning tool, but in fact there are several different kinds of powers of attorney that can be used for different purposes.
Does Your Will Name an Alternate Beneficiary?
What will happen to your estate if your primary beneficiary does not survive you? If your will does not name an alternate beneficiary, your estate will be divided according to state law, which may not be what you want.