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Why You Should Consider Estate Planning
If you’re wondering what would become of your assets when you’re no longer around, or you wish to ensure the well-being of your children and loved ones. In that case, you may consider setting up an estate plan.
Estate planning involves making arrangements or giving clear directions on how you want your affairs to be handled in cases of death or incapacity.
With estate planning, you can arrange for the inheritance of your assets, including real estate, personal property (like cars or artwork), retirement accounts, bank accounts, business interests, and other property.
You may think, “I do not own such assets or anything worth leaving to anyone.” The good news is that anybody can have an estate plan. You do not need to own assets to have an estate plan.
If you’re facing a serious illness, an estate plan could also help you appoint a trusted third party to make difficult healthcare decisions while you’re unable to do so.
With estate planning, you can be at ease knowing that you have taken the necessary steps to secure the future of your children or loved ones and protect your assets.
Estate Planning Law
Estate planning law refers to the body of laws that regulate the estate planning process.
In Georgia, you can find the primary law for estate planning in Title 53 of the Georgia Code -Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates. The law provides for the form and content of estate planning documents such as wills and trusts and sets rules for their validity.
If you’re going to prepare any estate planning document, it is vital to ensure they are valid under the law. Otherwise, your efforts may have been in vain.
To avoid any mistakes, you might want to engage the services of an estate planning attorney to prepare your documents. Your attorney understands the requirements of the law and can ensure that your estate planning complies with them.
Own Assets Jointly
Joint ownership of assets is an effective legal arrangement to plan your estate since jointly owned assets don’t pass through the probate process.
So even if one owner dies, the surviving person can utilize the assets without working through probate court procedures, estate planning attorneys, or other legal issues.
Establish a Living Trust
A living trust is similar to a will, except that it allows you to retain control of the trust property without owning it.
To avoid the lengthy probate process, and perhaps federal estate taxes, you can put any asset into a revocable living trust, including your land and bank account.
Make a Power of Attorney
By power of attorney, you can appoint someone to act for you for any legal purpose. The terms of engagement are usually contained in the empowering document.
Depending on its purpose, a power of attorney could be revocable or irrevocable. Your attorney can help you determine which is appropriate for you.