Digital assets an important part of estate planning

It is not easy for some people in Tennessee to make decisions regarding their futures. Estate planning can be a confusing and sometimes difficult process as it requires consideration of one's wishes for distribution of assets and payment of debts after the estate holder dies. While some people may think they are too young to need to do this or not wealthy enough to require it, every adult can benefit from this type of protection. When making these plans, a person will want to consider digital assets as well. 

Most people consider only their medical wishes and physical assets when estate planning. Digital assets include any type of personally held or owned electronic record. This includes payment accounts, online banking accounts, social media accounts, email accounts and credit card rewards. Even though these things are not tangible, they still have value, and they should be accounted for in a person's estate plan.

Estate planning with a person's digital life in mind

Life is unpredictable, and for this reason, it can be quite difficult for a person to think about what types of protections he or she may need in the future. Estate planning can be complex and confusing, and as a result, a person may overlook certain important factors. One thing that a reader will want to consider when making plans for the future is his or her digital life.

Almost all Tennessee adults have an online presence, yet people don't realize why this should be part of an estate plan. Failure to do this can cause a significant inconvenience and complications for individuals left behind after a person passes away. A person who wants to maintain control over his or her information and certain types of accounts will want to take steps to spell these things out in a will.

Small business counsel for female-led startups

When a Tennessee female entrepreneur embarks on the process of starting a business, it is possible she could face challenges that a male business owner may not face. Women are capable and smart, yet they may feel like they have to fight harder and prove themselves on a higher level in order to succeed. One of the most prudent things they can do during the startup process is to seek experienced small business counsel.

There are various difficulties and challenges a prospective business owner will have to overcome. Female entrepreneurs should feel free to embrace their femininity, as these are traits that can set them apart from the competition and set them up for long-term success. This in no way means that cannot also be tough, aggressive and savvy as well. One way that women can succeed in the business world is to stop being afraid to make mistakes. Instead, they can use missteps to make themselves better and stronger for the future.

Is your business ready to transition to the next generation?

Whether the opening of your family business was generations ago or only a few years in the past, the thought has certainly crossed your mind that one day you will have to pass the reins to someone else. If the time comes at your retirement, sudden illness or unexpected death, will your successors be ready to step up and keep your Tennessee business running successfully?

Such concerns are common for small business owners, but few take the time to create a plan for a smooth transition of power. In fact, many simply assume the oldest child or the next sibling will take over. This is only one of many mistakes you will want to avoid as you prepare your transition.

The long-term benefits of good estate planning

There are many reasons why a Tennessee resident may avoid thinking and planning for the future. Perhaps he or she does not think it is necessary due to his or her age, or perhaps there is an assumption that a person should be wealthy in order to need an estate plan. In reality, every adult can benefit from estate planning. This process can also prevent many potential problems and complications when it comes time to settle the estate.

Without a will, state laws will have the final say in what happens to a person's property. This can result in an outcome that is vastly different from what a person would have wanted. Even with just a basic will, a person can have more control over what happens to his or her estate, money and assets. Without a will, loved ones may be left fighting over what they think is best, which can be costly and stressful.

Small business counsel can help owners avoid legal problems

It's complex and difficult to run a business. It takes hard work just to get a Tennessee small business off the ground, and in addition to basic operating needs, owners will also have to think about things that could cause legal problems down the road. With small business counsel, an entrepreneur does not have to face these matters alone, potentially avoiding issues that can be stressful and costly.

As they may in our personal lives, conflicts in business arise in relationships -- relationships between co-owners and business partners, relationships with customers and clients and relationships with suppliers, vendors and other external associates.

One more matter that can plague a small business are relationships with employees -- claims of harassment, discrimination or unlawful discharge. This is currently a hot-button issue, and it can lead to litigation or an expensive out-of-court settlement. One way owners can avoid these problems is to document interactions with employees carefully, have strict procedures and policies in place, and confront any allegations or signs of a problem immediately. Quick action can lead to a beneficial resolution, but allowing a matter to simmer can cause bigger problems down the road.

Work with counsel to stay ahead of your issues in all your business relationships and don't just wait to react to the crises.

Don't have kids? Estate planning is still important

When a Tennessee couple doesn't have kids, they may not see how important it is to make plans for the future. After all, when they don't have children, they may not give much consideration to what will happen to their assets, property and money after their deaths. In reality, there are many practical and important reasons why estate planning is still important in these situations.

Child-free couples still benefit from making plans for the future. One thing they can accomplish through their estate plan is to account for the care of a beloved pet in case of their death. They can name a person to take the animal and set aside money for his or her medical care and upkeep costs. Another thing a couple can do with an estate plan is outline the type of care they want for themselves in case of incapacitation. They can do this with various types of powers of attorney.

Estate planning with the needs of pets in mind

Making plans for the future is not always easy. In fact, it can be quite difficult for a person to think about the possibility of his or her passing and what will happen after. While it's not a pleasant thought, there are many benefits to estate planning and accounting for many things, including family pets. With the right plans in place and documents drafted, a Tennessee reader can look to the future with confidence.

Pets are often overlooked when a person is estate planning. When drafting a will, it's natural to consider things like what will happen to property and assets, but it is also smart to think about what will happen to a beloved family pet as well. Without addressing this issue, it is possible that the pet could end up in a shelter if the owner passes or goes to a nursing home.

What to do when you inherit a family business

When your parent established the small business that supported your Tennessee family for years, you may have had many conversations about you taking over the company when the time came. Perhaps your parent never defined what that time would be, but you assumed you would take over when your loved one decided to retire.

Like many business owners, your parent may have done little to prepare for this moment and may have figured you would simply step into the role at some point in the future. However, if your parent passed away without leaving a plan of succession or an estate plan, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what lies ahead for the family business.

George Washington's example for estate planning

Tennessee readers understand how important it is to make plans for the future and ensure they have the right legal documents in place. Estate planning is a smart step for virtually everyone, regardless of age, health status, income levels and more. One person who provided a wonderful example of proper, thoughtful estate planning was George Washington.

Washington was more than a dedicated Revolutionary War hero and an exemplary first President of the United States. He was a thoughtful planner and family member, and he was very conscientious about what would happen to his estate after he passed. His will was thorough and detailed, and by doing it this way, he maintained final say over what happened to his property, money and other parts of his estate. 

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