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 October 13, 2020.

Estate planning in Georgia is an area of law that 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 estate planning 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 lawyer, such as those from Faulkner Law, you can prepare your documents to provide your loved one and children with peace of mind.

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.

Estate Planning in Georgia

Expert Counsel for Estate Planning

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

A 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 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 lawyer can assist.

Estate Planning Guidelines

Lawyer for Estate Planning in Georgia

Choosing a Power of Attorney

A 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 administration 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

A 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 proper estate plan, your legal property may end up in probate. What is probate? Estate 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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