We’ve spoken about this topic in our social media, but we wanted to give you all a more in-depth view of estate planning. Estate planning: we’ve all heard it, but why does it hold such importance? If you are young, you may feel like estate planning is something you have time to think about, but the truth is everyone with assets, kids, or who is married should be thinking about estate planning. Estate planning begins with the process of deciding who, what, where, and when your assets are distributed, once you pass away. It can also include planning for those things and management of them should you ever become incapacitated or unavailable.
You may think, “I don’t have much, so I don’t need an estate plan.” That is not true. If there is no written will or trust-based plan in place, your wishes are unknown. Simply telling family and friends is not legally enough. Your assets could be distributed against your wishes. Without proper planning, this process can be stressful. After the death of a loved one, no one should have to worry about the next steps.
An estate plan is important to protect you and the ones you love. This is especially important when there are children under 18. A proper plan ensures that you choose who will be the legal guardian for your children and who will be entrusted with administering your hard-earned money held for their benefit. Don’t let the court system decide for you.
Part of a comprehensive plan includes establishing powers of attorney, advance medical directives, and choosing the right form of a will or trust.
A financial power of attorney gives an individual the power to make financial decisions on your behalf.
In Georgia, Advance Directives let you name an Agent to make healthcare decisions for you when you’re unable. They reflect your decisions about the limits of healthcare and life-sustaining treatments.
Living Trusts can be a great alternative to a Will based estate plan. They, if funded and administered correctly, eliminate the need for probate through the courts. They provide for lifetime administration of your assets and management of them should you become incapacitated. Trusts also provide distribution planning upon death. They are particularly useful for those with assets in multiple states or states where probate is expensive. They can be of great value in blended families and marriages of mature individuals.
Estate Planning doesn’t have to be a stressful time for you and your family. Planning ensures your assets and family are protected. With the help of Edge & Kimbell’s estate planning attorneys, establishing your estate plan is simple. Contact us to get started.