$1,000 Documents Only Estate Plan
What is the Document Only Estate Plan?
Our quickest and most convenient estate plan is the “Documents Only” Estate plan. This estate plan is specifically designed for couples who are married, and have (or plan to have a child or children) and want everything to transfer to their spouse in the event something happens them. If something happened to both parents (or the survivor) they would want their assets to be transferred into a family trust for the benefit of their children. This is the exact Will that my law partner and I both use in our personal estate plans. Because so many families face a similar planning situation, so we have devised a convenient estate plan specifically designed to meet those needs.
Why do you offer this service?
The statistics show that most people have not completed their estate plan and we want to eliminate the barriers that are causing people to put it off. Our experience is that everyone truly intends to have Wills drafted, but they have just not gotten around to it. Our goal was to make the estate planning process accessible and easy to complete without needing to plan for two meetings in our office. In 2016, Tennessee repealed the Tennessee Inheritance Tax and the Federal Estate Tax Exemption had risen to $5.45 Million (which remained “portable” between spouses for a total of $10.9 Million of assets that could be passed to anyone without incurring any tax). The result of these tax law changes was that VERY few couples have a taxable estate. With taxes no longer being a major consideration of the basic estate plan, we wanted to provide a path for people to easily set up an estate plan to take care of basic issues like: (i) choosing guardians for minor children, (ii) choosing a person to financially care for minor children while avoiding the necessity of a legal financial guardianship (which is extremely burdensome and expensive for a guardian) and (iii) avoiding probate upon the passing of one spouse by correctly titling accounts and designating beneficiaries.
Why is this plan better than a self-help website for creating my own documents?
While we call this option our “Documents Only” plan, you will be signing everything in our office. At signing, I will explain the plan to you. Most importantly, we will walk through your financials and make sure that you know how to properly title accounts and set up beneficiary designations to follow the plan! Self-help services often cause more problems than solutions because accounts are improperly titled and beneficiary designations are incorrect. They often do not waive inventory and accounting for the Executor, which would cause delay, expense and inconvenience for an Executor. Worst of all, you may not execute the Will properly which would make it invalid.
How long does it take and how much does it cost?
After you complete the intake form, we will draft the documents within 2 business day and send you an email to set up a 30-minute meeting to execute the documents. At the execution meeting, I will walk you through the documents and can make any minor changes to customize the plan further (minor changes may cost up to $200 extra). Once you sign, we will have your documents notarized, bound, and the original documents will be sent to you via USPS. A scanned copy will also be sent you via email. I charge a flat fee of $1,000 for Documents Only.
Does everyone qualify for the Documents Only Estate Plan?
Unfortunately, no. If any of the following apply to you, our “Documents Only” estate plan is not a good fit for you. However, we would be happy to schedule a meeting to set up an estate plan for you!
Not planning to have children*
Combined assets totaling over $11,000,000 (including death benefit of all life insurance)
Own Real Estate outside of the State of Tennessee
Child(ren) that currently qualify or may qualify for government benefits for special needs
Child(ren) from a prior relationship
Children who will not be beneficiaries of the estate
Any Parent(s) of a spouse with assets over $11,000,000
Prefer a Marital Trust rather than outright distribution to spouse
If any of the above apply to you, we would be happy to schedule a meeting to help devise a plan that is specifically tailored to your needs. Click the button to the right to schedule schedule a meeting at our office or over Zoom video chat to discuss.
*Unmarried individuals and married couples who do not plan to have children are unable to qualify for this plan because there is no default estate plan covering either of these situations. Circumstances can change much more quickly for people in these categories. To build an estate plan that accomplishes the goals of unmarried individuals or couples without kids, we need to set up a meeting to discuss the significance of certain decisions and the effect they have on the estate plan as a whole. We would be happy to help you set up an estate plan that fulfils your objectives!
Can you tell me more about this plan since it is really important? Of course!
This estate plan directs you to choose each of the following in the event that something happens to both you and your spouse:
Guardian: The person(s) who will raise your minor children.
Personal Representative and Trustee: The person(s) who will handle your estate and manage the assets for your children.
Without a trustee, the court would appoint a guardian for financial purposes, a person who would manage the assets for your children. Guardianship is very time and cost intensive. For example, the guardian would be responsible for things such as court costs, attorneys’ fees, accounting, and keeping record for every transaction from the guardianship account. Guardianship also requires that the guardian post bond, which amounts to approximately $2,500 per year for every $1,000,000 of assets. By directing assets into a trust and choosing a trustee, you are able to avoid all of this extra time and expense.
Health Care Decision Maker: The person(s) who will make medical decisions for you if you are living but unable to make them for yourself
Financial Decision Maker: The person(s) who will handle your financial and other business-related matters for you if you are living but unable to handle such matters for yourself.
DESIGN OF TRUST; These provisions are the default provisions that are included in the Documents Only Plan:
Design of Trust: These provisions are the default provisions that are included in the Documents Only Plan:
a. Pot Trust. Upon the passing of both parents (or the survivor) your remaining assets (after satisfying all debts) will be held in a trust (by the trustee(s) designated above) for the benefit of your child(ren). The trust assets will remain in one trust account until your youngest child graduates from college or turns 23, whichever is earlier. Once the youngest child has completed college (or turned 23), the trustee will divide the assets by the number of children to provide a share for each child. The trustee will remain in charge of all of the shares, but funds spent by each child will now affect the balance in his or her share alone.
b. Control of Trust by Children. Following the division of the trust as described above, each separate share for a child of yours will be held in trust for the lifetime of the child (for creditor protection purposes), and such child will replace your chosen trustee to become the sole trustee of his or her share at age 30.
c. Distribution Upon Child’s Death. Upon the death of a child of yours, the share for such child will be distributed as follows:
1. Each child will be given the ability to distribute the assets of his or her share among persons in your bloodlines (not including spouses of these persons).
2. If the child had children of his or her own and does not exercise the power described above, the share for such deceased child will be divided into subshares for the benefit of that child’s children (your grandchildren) and held in trust until that beneficiary attains the age of 30 years (half will be distributed at age 25 and the remainder at 30).
d. Disaster and/or Ultimate Distributions. In the event that there are no children or other issue of yours living, all remaining trust assets will be divided into two equal shares. One share will be distributed among the one spouse’s family in accordance with Tennessee law and the remaining share will be distributed among the other spouse’s family in accordance with Tennessee law. Essentially, assets would go up to parents (in equal amounts to each living parent of a spouse), and if no parents are living, assets would go out to siblings equally.
If you would like to move forward with this estate plan, please fill out the Documents Only intake form by clicking the link below. You will receive a confirmation email that we have received your information.