Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning


Planning for Your Family's Future

The Law Offices of James R. Wheeler can provide you with professional guidance in making wise decisions for your family. Initial consultations for estate planning are FREE and you are under no obligation until we agree on a plan with you that meets your needs and those of your family.
The term "estate" refers to the interest you own in real and personal property. Real property includes real estate that you own or in which you have an interest, such as your home, a time-share, or a commercial property. Personal property includes all other property in which you own an interest, such as bank accounts, vehicles, stocks, bonds, and retirement accounts.
Wills and Estate Planning in Jonesborough, TN
Estate planning is the process of protecting, arranging and distributing your estate in accordance with your wishes. With no estate plan in place, the laws of the state in which you live may determine how your property is distributed at the time of your death or disability. Estate planning also refers to end-of-life decisions you may choose to make, and who makes those decisions for you in the event that, for some reason such as incompetency or incapacity, you are unable to make them.


A will is a legal document which permits a person to make decisions regarding how his or her estate will be managed upon death. Absent a will, state laws come into effect to determine the management and distribution of the deceased person's estate.

Trusts and Living Trusts

A trust allows a named Trustee to have title to and to determine the way a person's property is handled, as long as the Trustee acts for the good of the trust's beneficiaries. If proper arrangements are made, a trust can often help your heirs avoid the probate process and the delays probate can cause. Certain types of trusts can provide protection from creditors and loss of assets.
A living trust grants a Trustee the right to hold, care for, and manage a trust beneficiary's assets and property until the beneficiary dies. Upon his or her death, the Trustee divides the assets of the trust to those who are named to inherit them in the trust document. Living trusts should not be confused with wills or testamentary trusts.

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a written authorization to be represented by another person or organization. The one given this authority to act on your behalf is called an agent or attorney-in-fact. Two common powers of attorney are a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, which allows your agent to make certain health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to act, and a Durable General Power of Attorney, which allows your agent to make decisions for you regarding your various personal business matters.

Advance Care Directives and Living Wills

Some decisions related to your health care can be made in advance of a situation where you may not be able to make those decisions at the time. A living will and/or an advance care directive allows you to determine what you want to have happened if you are terminally ill with no reasonable medical expectation of recovery. You will make decisions about what level of care to continue and when it is time to stop various levels of care.

Long-Term Care Issues

Our firm can assist you in preparing and planning for the possibility of long-term care needs such as assisted living or nursing home care. We are knowledgeable regarding Medicaid and TennCare issues associated with long-term care. Whether you are planning for future needs or you are facing a loved one's need for long-term care now, let us assist in answering your questions.
Contact our office at 4239130117 to let our legal team provide you with professional guidance and to help you obtain the documents you need to make these important estate planning decisions and to secure your peace of mind.