Understanding the Intricacies of Proper Georgia Estate Planning

 

Speak with a trusted Estate Planning lawyer in Marietta, Georgia.

Know the Georgia Estate Planning Basics

Creating an estate plan in Georgia is critical, no matter what stage of life you and your family are in. Learn the basics with Faulkner Law.

Author: Stan Faulkner, Founder, Faulkner Law, LLC

Mr. Faulkner is an experienced counselor and litigator with 15 years of experience, having held bar licenses in four states (Mo, Il, Ct and Ga). Stan Faulkner uses this experience and focuses his skills in the pursuit of assisting individuals in probate (trust and estate) matters, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, business disputes and contract disputes. Published on December 23, 2021.

Georgia estate planning laws should be of interest to everybody since it includes preparing for the eventuality of one’s ultimate death. Estate preparing laws govern the process by which people document how they would like their assets divided upon their death, as well as their end-of-life preferences.

Many people avoid the estate planning process due to the uncomfortable nature of contemplating their death. Plus, they may feel their property is not substantial enough to warrant the attention and assistance of an attorney. They feel that it is something relegated to the needs of the wealthy or those in their golden years. Additionally, many couples presume that if they have kids, their children and loved ones will amicably divide their property among themselves.

If you do not make suitable legal preparations for the estate administration of your properties and affairs upon death or incapacity, Georgia’s intestacy laws will assume control. This can result in the disregard of your beneficiaries and cause outcomes you never intended. By speaking with an estate planning attorney, such as those from Faulkner Law, you can receive useful legal advice and prepare your legal documents to provide your loved ones and children with peace of mind.

Georgia Estate Planning Law

Planning things ahead to determine how and what will happen after your death is a wise decision. These plans will help you determine the life of your loved ones after your death. For example, how your assets and taxes will be paid, how your children will live (with or without your spouse), and the life of your family members and friends.

Georgia provides several possible ways to its residents to determine everything beforehand. The details of each option are as follows.

1- Advance Directives of Health Care, GA

There are times when you get ill enough to can’t make decisions related to your own health. However, with the advanced directive option, you can define your health-related wishes, designate a health care agent (it couldn’t be your physician), and get treated according to your will, even if you can’t make a final call.

You can easily describe your priorities and wishes related to your health and describe things to your health care agent. So, when you aren’t able to make decisions, your health care agent will let your physicians, family, and friends know the wishes you have about your health.

Estate Planning in Georgia

Expert Counsel for Estate Planning

2- Georgia Power of Attorney

Another great way of estate planning is determining a power of attorney. With this option, you can nominate a person as your representative to make decisions on your behalf. Depending on the privilege you provide or set for your power of attorney, they will decide for you.

There are two types of power of attorneys, financial or medical. Based on the form you signed, your POA will have the authority. Your power of attorney can be anyone, including your friend, family, children, or spouse. But it is better to give control to a trusted person.

 

3- Revocable Living Trust

While you are alive, you can plan the assets divisions among your family and friends without going through the probate process via the Revocable Living Trust option. This option gives you a chance to determine who and how many assets a person will have after you die. By placing your assets in the living trust, you will ultimately avoid getting through the expensive and lengthy probate process.

You will have to create a trust, designate a trustee who will manage your assets when you are alive, and determine the beneficiaries. Once the trustee dies, the assets will be transferred to the beneficiaries without a probate process. This way, you can easily plan everything while holding the trust ownership to yourself.

4- Last Will

If you want to specify that a certain amount of your assets will be transferred to a certain person in your family, you can plan it with the last will and testament option. You can divide your assets and state your wishes to distribute to your family and friends. However, it would be best to have an executor on board who can act on your desires once you die.

Moreover, there are certain requirements to file for the last will in Georgia. You must meet the following criteria

  1. You must be 14 years or older.
  2. You must be mentally stable enough to make decisions.
  3. You must not finalize a will under pressure.

As an experienced adoption attorney and probate lawyer, we help our clients understand their legal issues and related legal topics to help find the best suitable solution for their concerns.

Contact a Reputable Lawyer for Estate Planning in Georgia

When navigating estate planning in Georgia, many people believe that this consists solely of a last will and testament. A will is a document detailing how you want your assets divided upon your death, as well as who will be the executor tasked with managing the administration of your estate and the guardian for any minor children. Provide your household the peace of mind of a well-written last will and testament that addresses:

  • Health care
  • Home and real estate
  • Life insurance
  • Personal and business real estate
  • Private and joint accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Trusts

Contrary to a Will, a Trust is a different legal entity in which a Trustee holds the home or properties for the benefit of the trust recipients. Trusts serve multiple purposes and can be lifetime or testamentary, revocable, or irrevocable. A knowledgeable law firm can advise you as to whether a will or trust would be the best option for your particular situation.

Choosing Between Estate Planning and Living Trusts

 

When deciding whether to take on the process of estate planning or setting up Living Trusts, it is wise to consult an advocate from a reputable law practice in Atlanta to help with the administration of your property and answer any questions you may have. Unlike a will, a trust instantly takes effect at the time in which it is written.

A Living Trust allows you and your partner to maintain the legal title to and control of your assets throughout your lives. The Trustees you name are tasked with the responsibility of carrying out your specified wishes upon your incapacity or death. It is revocable, permitting you to modify or end it, and likewise allows you to prevent or limit problems and costs associated with estate planning probate. A trusted law office and an experienced lawyer will identify the best choices. When looking for a trust and estate planning attorney, select one that will guide you with designating a guardian or conservator for your property, so your family does not have to suffer through the costly and time-consuming process of probate court.

Checklist for Estate Planning Website and Search Terms

Law practice focused on asset protection will have a comprehensive checklist for estate planning documents. It concentrates on the preparation of all elements of estate strategies, from wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care instructions, to guarantee your household is safeguarded and your final wishes are followed. A reputable legal representative with an eye on estate and tax laws will provide recommendations regarding the following aspects:

  • Asset planning and protection
  • Conservatorship and guardianship
  • Eldercare planning
  • Families
  • Health care
  • Living will
  • Medicaid and Medicare planning
  • Planning of the estate
  • Power of attorney
  • Special needs planning
  • Trust and probate administration
  • Trust preparation
  • Will preparation and other related documents

If you are unable to make these important decisions on your own, a lawyer knowledgeable in powers of attorney and health care directives will enable you to take control of who handles your affairs for you. Any estate planning strategy is not complete without addressing these elements.

Estate Planning Guidelines

Lawyer for Estate Planning in Georgia

Estate Planning Guidelines for Executive Administration

If you have minor children under the age of eighteen for whom you want to provide, your estate planning guidelines must include the name of someone to be their guardian(s). Although any surviving parent would be a natural choice, having a designated guardian would reduce the stress and cost of individuals legally disputing your wishes. In addition to a last will and testament, proper estate plans include provisions for the upkeep of all beneficiaries, including:

  • County ordered child support
  • Family members with special needs
  • Minor children and step-children
  • Potential partners to whom he or she had been married
  • Spouse support
  • Support for step-children (if applicable)
  • Tax payments for the estate

A proper strategy consists of methods to decrease possible estate taxes and settlement costs. It also details what accompanies your estate in case of incapacity or death. These are complicated matters, and an estate planning attorney can assist.

Choosing a Power of Attorney

durable power of attorney provides authority to make essential end-of-life choices, such as whether to stop artificial life support. The person given this authority needs to comply with the wishes specified in the living will. According to elder law, a Georgia durable power of attorney needs to be provided in writing, signed by the executor and witnessed by two qualified adults who know the processes of estate and will planning. 

Creating a Living Will or Healthcare Directive

Healthcare directives, also known as “living wills,” are legally binding files that state a person’s choices for medical treatment if they later become incapable of specifying these choices. If you do not desire to be kept alive through artificial respiration, you can specify this in your living will. Your healthcare professionals and those with power of attorney have to follow your wishes.

Georgia Estate Planning Council for Clients

 

GA estate planning council must have the ability to offer personalized options for your estate plan that include assessments and guidelines regarding your health care and monetary matters. Without a proper estate plan, your legal property may end up in probate. What is probateEstate planning probate is the procedure of administering the estate of a decedent, whether by a Will or with the laws of intestacy where there is no Will.

Skilled lawyers can encourage you throughout the procedure. Contact us at the law firm of Faulkner Law for a free consultation. We will review your forms to determine if there are any issues related to your estate plan that may require litigation. We will answer any questions you may have regarding the administration of your property and provide a premium state plan to protect your wishes regarding your personal assets, as well as the special needs of your children, loved ones, and other family members.

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