February 22

The Basics of Trust & Estate Planning in Georgia

Everyone, regardless of age or financial circumstances, can benefit from some legal planning designed to address potential medical and end of life care as well as estate issues.

Will

Ensuring that you have a valid and up-to-date Will is one of the most important pieces of planning one can do – it may spare loved ones from potentially expensive and stressful disputes and litigation about your assets, funeral arrangements, and more. Change in marital status, children, purchasing a home, death of beneficiaries and new tax laws are all reasons to update an existing Will.

The following covers some of the most notable reasons to make a Will.

CHILDREN: Without a Will, the Court makes the final decision about who takes care of your children. A Will allows you to provide for your children in the event of your death, including specifying guardians and setting aside funds for the care of your children.

ESTATE PLANNING: Creating a Will gives you sole discretion over the distribution of your assets, including any charitable donations you wish to make. You can decide how your belongings, such as cars, heirlooms or family property interests should be distributed, and designate the person (known as an executor) responsible for carrying out the distribution of your estate. If you have a business or investments, your Will can provide instruction for handling these assets.

Providing explicit direction as to disposition of your assets minimizes tensions between survivors – relatives squabbling over your possessions can weaken what may have otherwise been a strong family.