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Kane & Crowell - Attorneys At Law

Wills & Trusts

Kane & Crowell represents clients when you or a loved one has passed away leaving an estate in need of probate. We also assist in Estate Planning such as Wills & Trusts, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Financial Powers of Attorney, and Living Wills. We can help you set up a conservatorship or guardianship when necessary to protect your loved ones.

Estate planning is one of the most important steps you can take to make sure your final property and health care wishes are honored. This planning helps you ensure your loved ones are provided for in your absence. It is easy to overlook or put off Estate Planning in favor of more immediate concerns. However, a comprehensive estate plan can resolve legal questions that arise when you die. Preparing Wills & Trusts in advance will make things easier for your loved ones during a sad time.

Here are some of the questions many people ask.

What is the state of the deceased’s financial affairs? What real or personal property is owned? Who gets what? Does a personal guardian need to be appointed for minor children? How much tax will need to be paid in order to transfer property ownership? What funeral arrangements are appropriate?

We can help set up Wills & Trusts. Contact Us at (615) 784-4800 with your questions. With six full-time attorneys and five paralegals, there is always someone available to speak with you.

What Documents Do You Need for Proper Estate Planning?

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Advance Care Plan (also known as Living Will)

When we meet about Estate Planning our goal will be to identify your needs. After some discussion, it is typical to find that taking care of future needs and desires requires, a Last Will & Testament, Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Will.

These are the documents I personally have. These are also the Estate Planning documents I have prepared for numerous friends and family members. They are simple documents that don’t have to be costly but can properly take care of your future needs. 

Do you need a Trust? Do you need a complicated and expensive Will?

Usually not. It will depend on the value of your estate and certain tax planning aspects of your particular financial situation. For most, the aforementioned documents take care of your needs. Thus they can ensure when there is illness or death, your estate will be properly handled. 

Will & Trusts

A Last Will & Testament is a legal document we all need. In the state of Tennessee, if you don’t have a Will, the law establishes who will receive your estate. Of course, if this were to happen you may not like who gets everything you’ve worked so hard to accumulate. Take charge of who gets what, when, and under what circumstances by having a legal Last Will & Testament.

Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney is a much needed document. Usually, if you are married, your spouse will be able to handle your financial affairs when you can’t. However, if your spouse can’t do it, then who will? You can determine who that person will be by having a Durable Power of Attorney prepared.

Health Care Power of Attorney

Of the utmost importance is your Health Care Power of Attorney. Who is able to make health care decisions on your behalf? Who do you trust to make the right decisions? You can decide that today by having a Health Care Power of Attorney prepared.

Living Will

And finally, you need a Living Will. Each of us has our own ideas about how we want to live and die during the end stages of life. Make those decisions now, in legal documents that your doctor and family will be required to abide by.


What if my family member didn’t have any Powers of Attorney, is now not competent to sign one and can no longer manage their own affairs?

Being in a position to ask the Court to establish a Conservatorship over a family member or friend is hard. Often that person cannot receive the appropriate medical care or state benefits. Therefore, you or someone else will need to step in and legally help them.

Conservatorships are set up by the Court for those who can’t take care of their own needs.

There are usually two situations where a Conservatorship is needed.

A disabled child becomes a disabled adult and their parent can technically no longer make decisions for them. This leaves the parent unable to ensure the child receives their state and/or health benefits. It also leaves the children vulnerable to other adults who may want to take advantage of them. 

In Tennessee, parents have the right to Petition the Court to become their child’s Conservator. The Court will review the child’s medical history and determine if a Conservatorship is warranted. If it is, the parent (or sometimes another family member) is appointed Conservator and can continue to make decisions for their children past the age of 18.

At other times, a parent becomes disabled and someone must be appointed to take care of their medical and financial decisions. Who becomes the Conservator can sometimes be a question that is to be litigated.

Tennessee sets out a list of people who may be Conservator and sometimes someone on the list may not be the right person to be the Conservator. Ultimately, if there is a dispute, the Judge, after listening to proof, decides who will be the Conservator.   Once a conservatorship is established, usually a bond will have to be posted to ensure the Conservator manages the ward’s money faithfully. And every year the Conservator will be required to account for the ward’s money to the Court. The Conservator may also petition the court to be reimbursed, each year, for the time they have spent as Conservator. They may also petition the Court to have their attorney fees and bond fees reimbursed.

The process may seem daunting but can often be accomplished within a matter of weeks. In emergencies, it can be accomplished in hours.

Plan Ahead

Planning for future needs does not have to be complicated or expensive. By not taking care of these legal matters in advance, you can cause your family to spend more money trying to handle it later. By preparing Wills & Trusts in advance, you will save your loved ones time and money. We are here to help.