Wills (and living wills and powers of attorney) are some of the most important documents that lawyers write. There is no better example of the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." When done correctly, wills, living wills and power of attorneys can save a family a tremendous amount of trouble and heartache. Organizing your life toward the end is a gift to your loved-ones.
A Last Will and Testament: The general rule is that while you are living you can do what you want with your property and that you can specify after you are gone what should be done with your property. A well crafted Will is the key to having your wishes carried out the way you want them carried out. A Will is also a gift to your family because it specifies who will get what and stops arguments between family members about how to divide property.
Powers of Attorney can be used to give a friend or family member the authority to act for you if you need help or if you cannot take care of your own affairs.
Living Wills allow you to determine what heroic measures you will allow to prolong your life--you can decide when your family should "let you go." You can decide this ahead of time. Everyone should think about this issue and everyone should have a living will.
Conservatorships are a very important part of maintaining the health and financial security of the ones we love. When a family member becomes unable to take care of themselves over an extended period of time, a conservator-ship is one of the best ways to ensure that that individual is not taken advantage of and that their needs are met appropriately.
Probate is the process of resolving a persons debts and assets after they pass away. This is the process where a Will is located, filed with the Court, read, and carried out. Probate is the court process where we carry out those wishes. Probate matters must be handled carefully to resolve tax and Tenncare issues and must follow the law for using a Will or resolving property if there is no Will.