If you are looking for advice on estate planning in Georgia, you are in the right place. This post will give you valuable insight into what estate planning is and its essential elements.
Estate planning is one legal domain that piques everyone’s interest as it involves planning for one’s eventual demise.
The estate planning law in Georgia governs the process that allows you to declare how you would like to divide your possessions after your passing away. You can also use it to declare your preferences for end-of-life medical care.
Think of it as a living will that even states whether you would like to stay alive via artificial means or any other directives. That said, the estate planning laws of Georgia are not too different from other states’ laws, and there are three key elements of estate planning in Georgia.
Three Key Elements of Estate Planning
Firstly, remember that objective of estate planning is to plan the distribution of your finances after you are gone. Creating a legalized and official plan can ensure that a trusted attorney or designated person carries out your wishes pertaining to the distribution of your assets to the heirs and beneficiaries.
So let us dive right in to explore what an estate plan needs
I. Your Will and Testament
The most common and vital element of your estate plan in Georgia is your last will and testament or simply a “will.” This document outlines all your wishes regarding your owned assets at the time of your passing away.
You can name all the people you would like to receive your assets upon your demise. If you are a Georgia resident and die without making a will and testament, your asset distribution will follow a legal process known as probate. This process allows the state to determine the distribution of your assets as it sees fit.
Making a will is going to ensure that your family and assets skip the probate process and the asset distribution executes as per your instructions. It would be wise and a good idea to discuss your plan with some of the trusted and close family members and friends. This will help alleviate any disagreements and issues after your passing away.
In case of major life events such as getting married, divorced, or having a child, it is best to draw up your will or make necessary amendments. You can even create a legal chain of guardianship for your children if something happens to both parents.
The best part is you can make as many changes as you like till you are alive or in a sane state of mind.
II. Power of Attorney
Your power of attorney allows you to declare a person to make financial decisions on your behalf in case of your incapacitation. Without a power of attorney, no one will be able to step in and handle financial matters such as investment decisions, bill payments, etc.
Therefore, for estate planning in Georgia, it would be best for you to create a power of attorney along with your will. If you have large assets and financial portfolios and require a detailed document, it is wise to seek professional assistance from an experienced estate planning attorney in Georgia.
III. Advanced Directive for Your Healthcare
This is a legal document signed by you in which you nominate a person to take healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are no longer capable of making them yourself.
The advanced medical directive or advanced directive states all your wishes about medical care in a scenario of your incapacitation, terminal illness, or inability to communicate. This document also contains instructions and your wishes about staying on life support or any other artificial means to keep you alive.
A Useful Tip
Here is a piece of helpful advice; you can also establish a “Trust.” This legal entity owns your assets while you are alive or after you die and can control your assets and finances based upon your wishes outlined in a legal document.
For example, you can establish a trust for your child and allow the trust to dictate how your child will benefit from the finances and assets you are leaving behind for them. You can even add stipulations about what they receive and when they receive.
This is one of the best ways for you to protect assets from going to waste or used in ways you would not have approved of if you were alive. A trust can also be a care mechanism for the elderly or a source of periodic income for heirs and descendants.
Benefits of Estate Planning in Georgia
There are several benefits attached to estate planning in Georgia.
- It ensures to provide for your loved ones and immediate family after your demise
- It ensures that your property goes to the rightful heirs or designated beneficiaries are per your wishes
- It minimizes your taxes and expenses
- It eases the financial burden that befalls your family after your death.
- You can support your favorite cause even after you are gone
- You can plan for any contingencies, such as an incapacitation event
- You can continue to provide for those who depended on you financially
- You can establish a trustee. This is a person who is responsible for executing your will and ensures carrying out all your wishes regarding your assets, finances, and personal health care (when you no longer can)
So have you already taken care of your estate planning in Georgia? If not, you must consider getting things sorted, especially during such uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to ensure the security and safety of your assets and that your loved ones are taken care of after you are gone make this your top priority.
Contact Scriber Law Group today and hire an experienced estate planning attorney in Georgia. They will sit down with you, listen to all your needs, understand your situation, and give you unbiased advice on managing your assets for estate planning in Georgia.