Your Legacy Matters.
While an estate plan is something most people understand they should have, their extent of their knowledge as to why they need it, or what it even does, is usually minimal. When faced with the task of drafting a will, setting up a living trust, or designating a power of attorney, many people become overwhelmed and feel unsure where to begin. Which estate planning documents are the most important, and what can you do to ensure your family is taken care of when you pass away?
At Farrell Law, our Marietta estate planning lawyer understands your concerns and can provide the knowledgeable legal guidance you need to put your worries to rest. To help clear up some of the confusion regarding estate planning in Georgia, our team of advocates have put together a short list of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions not covered on this page, we invite you to contact our firm online and we would be happy to provide you with further assistance.
Why should I create an estate plan?
Simply put, a legally-sound and comprehensive estate plan can help to ensure your wishes are carried out at the time of your death, as well as to minimize the burden your family carries in your absence. With an estate plan, you can determine how your assets are to be distributed and to whom, who will care for your minor children, who will make important decisions on your behalf if you should become incapacitated, and more.
What happens if I die without an estate plan?
If you pass away without a will or estate plan of any kind, your assets will be distributed through a process called “intestate probate,” or to your closest living relatives as designated by Georgia state law. Not only does this cause you to forfeit the security and peace of mind of knowing exactly who will receive the benefit of all your hard work and sentimental values, but it may often yield a result that is far different from what you would have wanted.
What is probate, and why do people try to avoid it?
Probate is a legal process that involves identifying and verifying the validity of a person’s will after they have passed. While seemingly straightforward, probate can be a notoriously complex and costly process and can place a considerable burden on a person’s family after they have passed. Fortunately, through the use of certain estate planning tools such as living trusts, you can make it so your assets will transfer directly to your heirs upon your death without the need for probate.
What is the difference between a will and a trust?
A will is widely considered to be the backbone of your estate plan. This document allows you to provide instructions regarding care for your minor children and pets, the distribution of your assets, the payment of debts and taxes, and naming an “executor” to oversee the administration of your estate at the time of your death. Conversely, a trust is a legal tool which allows you to transfer your assets to another person or party, known as a trustee. Trusts may be set up to be revocable or amendable by trustors during their lifetimes. A revocable living trust will most often allow your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance directly without the need to endure the time and expense of probate.
Do I need an attorney?
Creating a comprehensive estate plan which accounts for all of your assets and clearly communicates your wishes can be a complicated process, especially if you have a larger estate. A knowledgeable attorney can help you avoid various pitfalls and handle the legal heavy lifting on your behalf, ensuring that your and your family’s best interests are guarded at all times.
At Farrell Law, our team of top-rated Marietta estate planning lawyers have helped countless clients throughout Georgia secure their futures and can provide the powerful support you need to achieve peace of mind. Backed by numerous 5-star client testimonials and an uncompromising dedication to preserving our client’s best interests, we can guide you step-by-step through the estate planning process and craft a custom-tailored plan that fits your needs. Whether you are looking to create an estate plan from the ground up or modify an existing plan, we have what it takes to help your achieve your goals.
Call (678) 804-4374 today to discuss your estate planning needs in full detail.