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Alcoa, Tennessee, Family Law & Estate Planning Law Blog

Parenting plans are an important part of child custody

Wanting the best for their kids is a common desire that Tennessee parents have. However, it is much more difficult to determine the actions that will actually help their kids have the best lives possible. In particular, when parents are having to deal with child custody issues and parenting plans, they may worry about every choice they make.

If parents can work together, they may have a better chance of creating a plan that works well for everyone involved. Of course, rather than focusing on convenience for either party, it is important to view the situation from the children's perspectives. Between their schooling and other activities, kids are often busy, which makes parents busy too. As a result, it is important that a parenting plan work to keep everyone on schedule as best as possible.

Health care proxy, living will are important to estate planning

When it comes to many types of legal documents, it is not unusual for some documents to sound similar but have completely different uses. Because of this fact, it is important for Tennessee residents and those elsewhere to make sure they are using the right documents for their situations. This may prove especially true for those who are estate planning.

In particular, some individuals may have some confusion when it comes to a health care proxy, which may also be referred to as a health care power of attorney, and a living will. It is important to know that these are two different documents with two separate purposes. The health care proxy is a document that an individual can use to appoint someone to make medical decisions in the event that he or she cannot make those decisions due to incapacitation.

Franklin probate administration will move forward without a will

Failing to create an estate plan is one of the biggest mistakes associated with settling final affairs. However, this is a mistake that many people fall victim to, including celebrities. As a result, the deceased person's family is left to sort through the probate administration process without the knowledge of their loved one's true final wishes.

Some Tennessee residents may be shocked to learn that music icon Aretha Franklin died without creating an estate plan. Reports indicated that her attorney had encouraged her to create a trust for the estate, but the singer never actually carried out the steps to do so. Now, her estate will be distributed through intestate laws, but even following this law could result in conflict among surviving family and potential heirs.

Have you considered the liquidity of your assets during divorce?

Tennessee spouses who are in the throes of a divorce -- whether it's contentious or peaceful -- will need to find a workable solution to divide their assets. If the spouses themselves can't come to a solution on their own, then a family court judge will decide the matter. Ultimately, the assets will get divided one way or another. Therefore, spouses need to consider the fairest methodology to divvy things up.

Most spouses who own a wide array of property together -- such as real estate property, vehicles, works of art and other valuables -- know the importance of getting an accurate appraisal of the property before deciding how they will divide it. They also know to consider the tax liabilities associated with liquidating various property. What they may not remember, however, is to consider how liquid the property is.

New parents should consider estate planning

Becoming a parent is an exciting time in any Tennessee resident's life. While there are many happy times ahead and plans to be made, it is also important for new parents to consider less joyous possibilities as well. Unfortunate situations can befall any parent, and estate planning may be one of the most important steps to take in preparing for such possibilities. 

Because parents want their children cared for even if they are not able to do it themselves, they may first want to create documents that give someone else the power to control their finances in the event of incapacitation. A living will can detail how health care should be provided, and appointing a health care proxy gives someone the ability to make important health-related decisions. Additionally, creating a power of attorney can give someone the ability to control an incapacitated person's funds in stipulated circumstances to make sure the children remain cared for.

Personal assessment may help during high asset divorce

When there is considerable wealth at stake, many people may find themselves focusing on the financial aspects of ending a marriage. This approach may be wise in high asset divorce cases, but it is important for Tennessee residents to remember not to keep the money their sole focus. If they do not take the time to assess their personal aspects of the case as well, they may end up falling short of the goals they desire.

While most people feel as if they came out on the losing end of a divorce, parties entering the process may want to avoid holding this mindset. True, the outcomes may not be perfect, but individuals can take steps to work toward the best possible results. For instance, they can do some self reflection and assess their feelings to determine whether they are making choices that make sense for their futures or if they are simply allowing their emotions to guide their decisions.

More people using prenups to avoid property division issues

Divorce could happen to any married couple. While it may seem comforting to think that a relationship will last forever, that mindset may not always be realistic. Because of the potential for relationships not working out, Tennessee residents may want to prepare for property division proceedings before they take place.

One way that individuals in Tennessee can prepare for this area of divorce is by creating a prenuptial agreement. This type of contract has become more popular over the last 20 years, and individuals in the millennial generation have shown a particular interest in getting this agreement in place before getting married. Some speculation indicates that, since millennials are getting married at older ages, they may have more assets they want to protect from the possibility of divorce.

When do family law courts terminate parental rights?

Parents generally have the right to spend time with and care for their children, and also make important decisions regarding the lives of their children. However, circumstances can be such that a parent loses his or her parental rights.

The termination of parental rights won't happen for no reason at all. Tennessee family law courts will weigh this decision carefully, and they will only terminate parental rights in cases where they believe that it serves the best interest of the child or children involved.

Divorce may give cause to get back into estate planning

When married individuals create their estate plans, they often place their spouses in many of the vital positions, such as executor and heir to the majority of the estate. This may seem like the right move while the relationship remains happy, but in the event that the marriage comes to an end, estate planning needs revisiting. There are several aspects that Tennessee residents will likely want to update.

As mentioned, if an individual has named a soon-to-be ex-spouse as executor of the estate, that designation will likely need changing. Most people do not want an ex in such a position of power. Additionally, they typically do not want an ex to remain named as beneficiary for their important assets. Fortunately, these changes can be made within the estate plan. However, in some cases, parties may not be able to make changes until the divorce is final.

Sibling strife may cause litigation during probate administration

The legal process of estate probate has many aspects that can cause the proceedings to extend a relatively considerable amount of time. One of the biggest issues that can cause probate administration to come to a near halt involves litigation. Unfortunately, there are many issues that could arise during the closing of an estate that could lead to this type of action in Tennessee.

Discontent among family members is a significant issue that can lead to estate disputes. A person may indicate that one family member should receive certain assets while another family member should receive much less or maybe nothing at all. In particular, this type of situation can be cause for strife between surviving siblings, especially if the family did not get along particularly well.

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Law Office Of JAMES H. SNYDER, JR.

James H. Snyder Attorney at Law
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