Estate Planning & Probate Lawyers
An estate planning attorney offers legal help for pre-planning the control, management, and distribution of assets legally forced into the probate process.
An estate planning lawyer can enable you to avoid common costly problems, time delays, and unnecessary penalties otherwise incurred due to state and federal laws. A qualified estate planning lawyer understands state and federal probate laws, and how to protect the financial interests of their clients. Typical services include, but are not limited to:
- Create a Durable Power of Attorney
- Creating and updating a Final Will & Testament
- Designating your Executor for your estate
- Identifying and designating legal beneficiaries
- Creating a durable power of attorney and healthcare directives
- Development of strategies to minimize and/or avoid certain taxation
- Representation to secure titles, deeds, and similar ownership documents for real property
- Representation to secure access and control of bank accounts, investment accounts, safety deposit boxes, etc.
- Creating legal Trusts to protect your assets in any situation
- Legal guardianship designations (if you have minor children)
A will, also called a "Last Will & Testament" is a formal document that dictates how your “estate” is to be dissolved when you die. A "power of attorney" is a separate document which can effectively do the same if you become incapacitated.
Making a legal Will in Georgia, upon your death, does the following for you:
- Identifies who is in charge of carrying out the instructions in your Will
- Identifies your chosen guardian (if you have minor children)
- Specifies how your assets are to be distributed or otherwise assigned
- Block specific individuals from having any claims on your assets
A Trust can be a high-value component in an Estate Plan. A living trust and a testamentary trust are the two primary types of Trusts. The implementation of directives in a Trust is managed by a trustee. The trustee is a person designated by the grantor. The key advantage in having a trust is that transferring assets can avoid the cost and time required to be pushed through probate court.
Revocable Trusts can be canceled or otherwise nullified by the grantor. When the grantor dies, the Trust immediately converts from revocable to irrevocable. Revocable Trusts preserve and protect assets including directing assets to your desired beneficiaries.
Irrevocable Trusts cannot be canceled or otherwise nullified by the grantor. A top advantage of having an irrevocable trust is that allows you to bypass probate. Additionally, it provides protection against estate taxes and creditors.
Because a Trust moves things forward outside of the probate process it expedites settling an estate and keeps costs at a minimum.
Durable Power of Attorney
We can work with you to create a Powers of Attorney which is a legal document which establishes authorization and control to a specific person that you designate. The Agent has the legal authority to manage your personal matters should you become incapacitated. In Georgia, there are three options of which you should be aware. These three types of powers of attorney are: durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and springing power of attorney. Contact our law firm to learn more about what is required to develop a Power of Attorney document.