Articles Tagged with Wills

With the influx of information on the internet today, you can find just about anything on the web. There are all sorts of do-it-yourself websites and instructional videos that allow you to shoulder the work while cutting the extra costs of hiring someone else. You may turn to a particular website or YouTube video to learn how to change the oil in your car or how to install a new thermostat. However, you likely would not turn to the internet for more complicated tasks like building a whole house or performing surgery. There is a reason we hire experts and professionals to perform certain jobs. We know that there is much less room for potential error in hiring an individual with experience and expertise. That fact is especially true when it comes to estate planning.

With the rise of websites like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, or other do it yourself legal services, many people are looking to draft and execute their own legal documents. Other individuals may look for an easy fill-in-the-blank document as an option. The reality is when you attempt to handle legal matters on your own, there is much larger room for error than you realize. When drafting and executing a legal document like a last will and testament, there are a number of requirements that the document itself, the testator, and the witnesses must meet for the will to be valid under the law. An individual without the experience and expertise of an attorney may miss just one requirement needed under law. One small oversight could end up drastically altering the effects of such an important document.

The substantive text within a document like a will or power of attorney is the material that should declare your specific wishes. You want to make sure that your wishes are set forth in full. However, if you are attempting to draft your own will or power of attorney, you may forget to include or exclude certain aspects or clauses depending on your specific wishes. As someone without legal experience, you may not know enough to include or leave out a sentence or two that could have a lasting impact. An attorney who is drafting your will or power of attorney will ensure that these material clauses are included or excluded within the document depending on what is best for your situation.

As a Tennessee Probate Lawyer I have learned over the years that some simple planning can really save families from a lot of unnecessary stress and costs.  I will admit, having a Last Will and Testament or a Power of Attorney drafted doesn’t sound like a ton of fun but it really is easy and relatively inexpensive.  It is just one of those things that we all tend to put off.  Well don’t!  Get it done and your family will thank you.  Recently, I gave an interview about the importance of some simple estate planning.  You can watch the interview below.


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Celebrities may feel that their lives are always being scrutinized by the public eye. That scrutiny can even carry over when a celebrity passes away. Despite having access to some of the best estate-planning advice, a few wealthy celebrities left behind huge legal fees and taxes, bitter court fights, and other issues. Below you can see how drafting a will and keeping it updated can avoid any potential problems that may arise for your loved ones.

Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman, former child actor and star of the television show Diff’rent Strokes, died unexpectedly in 2010 at the age of 42 after sustaining a fall.

Life is full of change. Whether you move to a new state, have a baby, or get married, situations are always changing. Some of life’s biggest changes can have a lasting impact on other areas that you would not realize. Although you learn how to adapt or compensate for any changes, there will always be an impact in your life from any major change. Changes should also be reflected in your Will. Although many people have a Will, it is important to update it whenever you have any life changes.

So we have provided a list of major life changes that should prompt you to update your Will accordingly:

Changes in your family

With the hustle and bustle of life these days, we all have so many things going on. The 80’s classic movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has a great quote talking about the speed of life: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Whether it is keeping up with our families, jobs, or other interests, we are all looking for ways to spend more time doing what we love. As a result, many people are looking for an easy way to save both time and effort. However, there are some things in life that really do require specialized attention.

Online services have made so many things much easier. Many people use certain websites in an attempt to preliminarily diagnose an illness or even do their taxes, but we understand the limitations that those services offer. Those online services simply do not offer the same amount of attention to detail or a complete understanding of a situation that an actual doctor or accountant can provide. Similarly, a Tennessee wills lawyer can provide a number of benefits that online legal services are unable to match.

Services like LegalZoom are best suited for drafting basic and general legal documents. They are not law firms and are consequently unable to provide the state specific advice that an actual attorney could. Services like LegalZoom are unable to review your answers for legal sufficiency, draw any legal conclusions about the information you provided, or apply the law to your particular situation. Because each state’s laws are different, it is important to know specifically what your state laws are before drafting documents like a will, power of attorney, or other important legal documents. Using a Tennessee wills attorney gives you the peace of mind that you are receiving legal advice specific to Tennessee’s laws based on actual experience.

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