Russ Cook & Associates, PC

Don't make these estate planning mistakes if you value privacy

People all across Nashville make their living in the public eye. For better or worse, actors, musicians and other high-profile professionals often see the details of their lives (or rumored details of their lives) splashed across tabloid websites and discussed by complete strangers.

Under these circumstances, it can feel like nothing is private. However, that is not the case in the context of estate planning. There are ways to keep the details of your financial life and end-of-life wishes private, but to do so, you should avoid the following mistakes.

Not planning ahead

If you don't do any estate planning, then you are leaving yourself and your loved ones exposed to public scrutiny. Without an estate plan of any kind, the courts will make decisions on how your assets are distributed, which will become a matter of public record. Further, information about your loved ones, like their personal information, can also become available to the public.

Thinking a will will suffice

Having a will is certainly important, as it protects a person from dying intestate and leaving loved ones at the mercy of state distribution laws. However, if you want to protect your privacy, you need more than a will. A will goes through probate, which is a costly and public process. As this article notes, you can set up trusts to protect your privacy, as property in a trust will not go through the public probate process. 

Believing that not talking about estate planning protects your privacy

When you lead a public life, you are likely very cautious about what you say and to whom you say it. Because of this, it makes sense to feel like not talking about your estate plans is the best way to protect them. However, talking to your loved ones about your plans can be critical in providing guidance and clarity for the future. 

Estate planning is already a difficult subject to discuss; add in the complexities of privacy concerns and it can all seem quite overwhelming and confusing. Understand, though, that you don't have to tackle this complicated process alone.

With the help of an experienced attorney, you can protect your wishes and your privacy with a comprehensive estate plan that provides you and your loved ones with security and peace of mind.

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