estate planning Archives

Why all legal adults should have an estate plan

Millennials in Georgia and throughout the nation may not have homes or large retirement accounts. However, it is still a good idea for this generation to take estate planning seriously. This is because they may have kids or pets that will need to be looked after if they pass on or become incapacitated. They may also have student loan or other types of debt that may need to be resolved after they pass on.

Challenges in the administration of a loved one's estate

Clearing up the financial aspect after a loved one's death can be more complicated than some Georgia residents think. First of all, someone must be designated as the executor of that person's estate. The will may have one already designated, or if the assets are in a trust, the trust document will have designated a trustee.

Tips for deciding whether to use a will or a trust

When people in Georgia prepare an estate plan, they might use a trust or a will as the main vehicle. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. A trust costs more to prepare, but it does not have to go through probate. The probate process that a will must go through is not private, and it can be costly and time-consuming.

Combining a life insurance policy with a trust

Georgia residents who incorporate trusts in their estate plans often do so because they worry about heirs who are young or have been irresponsible with money in the past being left large lump sums. Trusts allow assets to be distributed to beneficiaries at designated times or when certain milestones, such as graduating from college, are reached, which can help to ensure that money is spent or invested wisely and assets that have taken a lifetime to accumulate are not squandered.

Why to have both a trust and a will

Many people in Georgia know just how valuable trusts can be when planning for the future. They are a particularly flexible estate planning tool that can at times provide tax benefits as well as a higher level of control and privacy in determining how assets are to be handled. They also provide specific measures that can help the creator provide for minor children, people with special needs or other individuals who might require higher levels of protection when handling money. However, this does not mean that trusts should be the only estate planning document a person has in place.

Trustees must balance many interests when making decisions

Generally speaking, a revocable trust is one that its creator can modify or revoke at will. The revocable trust is popular because it generally prevents a person's estate from going through probate after he or she dies. Furthermore, the terms of the trust go into effect as soon as the document is created. Therefore, an individual may have assets transferred or other decisions made on his or her behalf if that person becomes incapacitated.

Protecting finances after a divorce

When people in Georgia decide to divorce, they may be concerned about how to protect their financial future when doing so. After all, the financial consequences can linger for a long time after the other emotional and practical issues have been sorted out. For most people, divorce can lead to major financial changes, especially when the couple involved has been married for a long time. However, there are ways that people can prepare to end their marriage and protect their finances as well.

Change in law for IRA distributions may change estate plans

Georgia residents who have an IRA or another retirement account, such as a 401(k), might want to review their estate plan if the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act passes the Senate as it is expected to do. The SECURE Act will change the rules around bequeathing IRAs and other retirement accounts to people who are not spouses.

Celebrity deaths show the importance of estate planning

The have been many prominent celebrities who have died without a clear estate plan. For example, the estates of Prince and Aretha Franklin, who died in 2016 and 2018, respectively, are still tied up in legal battles. Georgia residents may want to take note and learn from the estate planning woes of these celebrities.

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