It's important for Tennessee adults of all ages and income levels to consider how they can protect their future interests and the interests of their loved ones. One smart way to do this is through specific estate planning steps, such as drafting a will or forming a trust. However, it's also smart to think carefully about how certain assets included in the estate are labeled and categorized as this can affect how the estate plan is executed in the future. 

In order to avoid complications down the road, any person with an estate plan will have to make sure that assets are property titled. One of the main purposes of a will is to distribute assets in an estate as outlined by the decedent, but improperly titled assets can hinder this process. Many people do not realize that a will actually only handles assets included in the probated estate. Other assets may pass straight to beneficiaries, regardless of the terms of the will.

An example of this is life insurance. When a person opens a policy, he or she will designate a beneficiary. Unless the policyholder names his or her estate as the beneficiary, the person designated as beneficiary will receive the payout. Additionally, how real estate is titled will also determine how it's handled after a person's death. 

If a Tennessee individual has concerns about how specific assets will be handled upon his or her death, it would be helpful for that person to seek an evaluation of the existing estate plan. This can help a person see if certain things need to be adjusted in order to ensure assets go to the right person. Estate planning is not always an easy process, but a person does not have to navigate this process alone. 

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