Many people are confused when it comes to wills and estate planning. Most people find themselves Googling “what is estate planning” or “what are trusts and estates.” Perhaps that’s how you found yourself here. This blog is going to go over the basics for estate planning and other related topics such as elder law, how to probate a will, and what is a living trust.
When the courts appoint an administrator to an estate, they can choose anyone. This includes creditors or third-party companies. Meaning you and your family lose all control over the estate.
If you want to create a will for your estate or file a petition to become the administrator of an estate, fill out the form below for a free consultation. Free consultations are first come first serve. We always run out of slots. Make sure you get yours locked in now.
Estate planning is the act of preparing the transfer of one person’s wealth and assets after their death. Assets include, but are not limited to, their real property, insurance money, personal belongings, and even debts.
Regardless of your age, health, or wealth, creating wills and estate planning in general are highly encouraged. Having a plan set in place in advance is the only way to ensure that your assets are being passed down the way you intended. It also can prevent future fighting amongst heirs and lower attorney and court costs for your family in the future.
Maybe you’re wondering why is estate planning important. Some people think it’s only a “rich people” thing and fail to realize that if you have any assets at all, you need estate planning.
If there is no plan in place for what happens to your things after you pass, it is ultimately left up to the court to figure it out. That means your house could end up with a cousin you weren’t particularly fond of or your kids are left fighting among one another on who gets your vintage Mustang. A huge part of estate planning is designating assets to your heirs.
Wills and estate planning also help you during the unexpected. No one plans on dying young, but if both you and your spouse pass before your child turns 18– who will take care of them? Are you willing to leave it up to chance? Or do you want to have it written down in your last will and testament that your old sister will take over? If not, it will be up to the courts to decide.
You’re able to transfer real estate with minimal taxes with just a little bit of planning! You could reduce a significant amount of your state and federal estate taxes or state inheritance taxes. This is a great help for your beneficiaries and can save them tons of money they would’ve otherwise owed to Uncle Sam!
We’ve compiled a checklist of some things to consider and get taken care of when estate planning. Checklists are helpful and provide a great roadmap– so hopefully you’ll find this helpful and beneficial to your estate planning process.
A will and testament is something that most people know about, but some aren’t familiar with the Georgia requirements for wills and estate planning. Keep these in mind before meeting with an estate and wills lawyer in Atlanta.
Because some people aren’t familiar with the requirements, benefits, and drawbacks of estate planning, it can sometimes make them an easy target for scammers. An increasing amount of scam-artists are targeting elders so beware these scams— one of them even involves estate planning.
Once you pass, your family will have to distribute your property based on your last will and testament. This is known as probate administration or to probate your estate. Common probate assets include: clothing, jewelry, household furnishings, cars registered in your name, and real estate registered in your name.
Your will can be changed up until your death provided you’re mentally competent and meet the other requirements of creating a will and testament– remember those will requirements above?
Changing a will requires a written document called a codicil, which changes the will. The alternative is to make a whole new will all together. A codicil has all the same requirements as the Georgia will calls for. As for how to revoke a will in Atlanta, you can just make an entirely new one. Any new will and testament will make prior versions void.
If you do decide to change your will, you do not have to provide notice to your beneficiaries about any edits. They have no say in your will and you don’t need their approval if you decide to make any changes.
In general, a trust is a right in property that is held in a fiduciary relationship by one person for the benefit of another. The trustee is the one that holds title to the trust property and the beneficiary is the person who receives the benefits of the trust. There are several different types of trusts, but we’re going to explain the two most common and most used.
You might also hear them referred to as “living trusts,” just know it’s the same thing. These trusts can be altered, changed, modified, and totally revoked by the settlor (the trustmaker). This type of trust is particularly helpful when trying to avoid probate with certain properties. The trustmaker can transfer the title of a property to a trust, serve as the initial trustee, and then has the ability to remove the property from the trust during his or her lifetime. If ownership of assets is transferred to a revocable trust during the lifetime of the trustmaker so it is instead owned by the trust at the time of the trustmaker’s death, the assets will not be subject to probate because the administration of a trust is a private matter.
This trust is quite the opposite of the living trust. Once an asset goes into the trust, even the trustmaker is unable to take it out except under a few circumstances. This trust is much more permanent. So, what are the advantages of an irrevocable trust? It puts somewhat of a shield over the property from creditors. This property is no longer the grantor’s but, rather, the legal property of the trustee to hold for the beneficiaries. This can also help with taxes!
The short answer is yes. You’re 100% able to create a trust or will without an attorney. This is a popular option among people with very simple needs when it comes to wills and estate planning. Some people are just natural DIYers, and that’s ok! However, for those with slightly complex wills and estate planning needs, hiring a lawyer might be the safer route. Some people want to include slightly complex elements to their wills and estate planning. That can include generation skipping, assistance with trust funding, or conditions to beneficiaries.
But as long as you follow the formal requirements for your will or trust creation, you’ll be all set!
It’s safe to assume that most people have not created a will in their early adulthood; people in their 20’s-30’s don’t think about dying or estate planning in general. People in that age bracket use the excuse of not having any assets to worry about yet. However, estate planning statistics show that 51% of Americans 55-64 years old have not created a will, either. Usually this is the time when people start estate planning, or at least should, in order to have ease of mind knowing their family and estate has a plan and will be taken care of.
One study showed 13% of people believe that their assets will just automatically pass to their spouse or children; another 18% viewed it as not necessary. We believe that many people are misinformed on how long it takes to create a will, the expenses, and who should be creating wills (the answer is everyone!)
You want to make sure that your family is set up.
You don’t want your kids going into the foster system if something happens to you.
You don’t want the state to decide how to distribute your estate.
You don’t want your heirs to lose half of their inheritance to unnecessary taxes.
You don’t want family members who are disowned to get your assets.
You don’t want your estate to get stuck in probate for 12+ months.
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We will set your will up for you correctly so you don’t have to worry about ANY of this.
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This website is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. Consult an attorney if you are seeking legal advice.