As readers of this Tennessee legal blog know, having an up-to-date estate plan is an excellent idea for anyone who wants to have control over the disposition of their assets when they pass on. As a prior post on this blog noted, those who die without estate plans may see their wealth and assets distributed based upon the state's laws of intestacy and those laws may not always coincide with the desires of individuals. An estate plan can help individuals protect their wishes for how they desire to see their estates' distributed.
A person's family tree can have many branches that reach far and wide into the world. While some of their close family may live near them in Tennessee, they may have cousins, grandparents, and even more distant relations that spread across the rest of the country and even across oceans. Not everyone is close to their relatives, though, and not everyone wants to benefit their distant relations through the execution of their estate plan.
Contests over wills and other estate planning documents can tie estates up for years and can cause irreparable rifts between members of a decedent's family. Although it may be impossible to satisfy every possible beneficiaries' wishes in the creation of a personal estate plan, Tennessee residents can take certain steps to minimize the chances of having their testamentary documents contested after their deaths.
Think about the will you first created. You likely made it and then kept it in a safe place, to be dealt with when you are gone. Instead of having your will collect dust, it is important to routinely make sure that everything you want included is there. Your estate plan should evolve as your life does.