What is estate planning and why is it important?

As you age, it’s important to start thinking about your estate and how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. That’s why everyone needs an estate plan. An estate plan is a set of instructions that outlines your wishes for what should happen to your property and your dependents after you die.

Estate planning can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In this blog post, we’ll give you an overview of everything you need to know about estate planning in Tennessee. We’ll cover topics like what an estate plan is, why you need one, what components should be included in your plan, and where to go for help in creating your plan.

We hope this guide will help you make informed decisions about your estate planning and provide you with peace of mind that your wishes will be respected.

What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a set of instructions that outlines your wishes for what should happen to your property and your dependents after you die. An estate plan can cover both financial and personal matters. For example, your will may designate how you want your property to be distributed after you die, while a power of attorney can appoint someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Why You Need an Estate Plan

No one likes to think about their own mortality, but it’s important to have an estate plan in place in case something happens to you. An up-to-date estate plan can help reduce stress for both you and your loved ones during a difficult time. A well-crafted estate plan will also ensure that your wishes are carried out exactly as you intended.

Creating Your Estate Plan

Now that we’ve gone over what an estate plan is and why everyone needs one, let’s talk about how to create your own unique plan. The first step is to inventory all your assets—this includes everything from real estate and investments to personal belongings and insurance policies. Once you know what assets you have, you can start making decisions about how they should be distributed after your death.

Your next step will be to choose someone to carry out your wishes—this person is called the executor of your estate. The executor’s job is to make sure that all the instructions in your estate plan are carried out according to the law. You’ll also need to designate beneficiaries for all your assets—these are the people who will inherit them after you die.

When choosing beneficiaries, it’s important to keep in mind that some assets (like retirement accounts) may have different rules about who can inherit them. You should also consider naming alternate beneficiaries in case any of your primary beneficiaries predecease you or are otherwise unable or unwilling to serve.

Once you’ve selected executors and beneficiaries for all your assets, the final step is putting everything in writing—your written instructions are legally binding, so it’s important to get them right. If you’re not sure where to start, there are many resources available online or through local law libraries that can help guide you through the process.

You may also want to be creative with how you structure your estate plans—for example, using trusts instead of wills or taking advantage of tax-advantaged account options. If you have questions about any aspect of the process, we recommend consulting with an attorney or financial advisor who specializes in estate planning.


Estate planning is an important part of protecting yourself and your loved ones as you age. While it may seem like a daunting task, creating an estate plan does not have to be complicated or expensive. By following the steps outlined above, you can create a comprehensive and legally binding road map for what should happen to all your assets after you die.

Contact 4Sight Legal Services today to learn how we can help you develop an estate plan tailored to your needs.

Chattanooga Estate Planning Attorney Ed Nanney Bio Image

Do you need help your your Trust, will or estate plan?

Chattanooga Estate Planning Attorney, J. Edward Nanney, has practiced business law for over 35 years and previously worked as in-house counsel for Fortune 500 companies. His understanding of Tennessee’s business laws and his experience resolving complex business matters has earned us a stellar reputation in Chattanooga’s business community.

Contact 4Sight Legal Services today to get the estate planning advice and legal services you need to protect your estate. Call (423) 305-1704 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.