Whether or not they own property, everyone has an estate. An estate is simply a blanket term to describe your personal possessions and assets. Estate planning involves taking the time to decide and document what should happen to your belongings after your death.
You may consider such questions as:
- How should your wealth be distributed to your children?
- Who should take over your care if you become incapacitated?
- Are there any special requests for your funeral?
All these questions and more can be answered with an estate plan.
While it’s not the most exciting thing to think about, having an estate plan can ensure that your family is taken care of after you are gone. It takes a modest amount of time and expense, but the benefits of estate planning are immeasurable. Most people are unaware of just how important it is until a loved one passes away without a will — and the estate goes into probate.
Jonathan C. BeardAttorney & PartnerJonathan joined the firm in 2014 and is a graduate of Reinhardt University, Kennesaw State University, and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University. As a partner at Miles Hansford and Tallant, LLC, Jonathan's practice primary focuses on ...
Lauren C. GilesAttorney & PartnerLauren Clipp Giles joined Miles & Tallant, LLC in 2009. Her primary practice areas include landlord/tenant law (both negotiating transactions and landlord/tenant litigation), real property disputes, zoning litigation, contract and business litigation, and ...
Brian A. HansfordAttorney & Founding PartnerBrian Hansford is one of the founding partners of Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC. With over 15 years of experience, he is the leading criminal defense attorney at the firm and has successfully represented clients facing DUIs, drug violations and felonies, ...
Jonah B. HowellAttorney & PartnerHowell joined Miles Hanford & Tallant, LLC in June of 2016. As a Partner with the firm, his primary practice areas are civil and probate litigation, corporate and business representation, estate planning and local government law. Jonah is a native of ...
Kevin J. McDonoughAttorney & PartnerKevin McDonough, a Partner at Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC, focuses his practice on three areas of law: Family Law, Business Law, and Wills and Estates. He works closely with his clients to help identify the goals that are most important to them and then ...
Deborah Anice PittmanAttorney & PartnerDeborah Anice Pittman joined Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC in 2016 and is now a Partner in the firm. Her primary practice areas are family law and criminal defense; however, she also handles general civil litigation matters and is a certified civil and ...
Joshua A. ScogginsAttorney & PartnerJosh Scoggins has extensive experience representing clients in real estate related matters including purchase and sale transactions, real estate development, construction law, commercial leasing, easement acquisition, utility issues, title disputes, ...
Kevin J. TallantAttorney & Founding PartnerKevin Tallant is a Cumming, Georgia native, and is one of the founding partners of Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC. His primary practice areas include local government law, contract and business litigation, probate litigation, and real property law. Kevin ...
J. Ethan UnderwoodAttorney & PartnerEthan Underwood practices in the fields of land use, real estate, and property tax law, representing developers, as well as individual property owners. He has negotiated numerous zoning and development actions and advises clients regarding environmental ...
When someone dies without a will, the courts oversee the administration of his or her estate. An estate representative will inventory all assets, pay outstanding debts, pay taxes and then distribute anything left to the heirs. It sounds simple enough, but this scenario is a breeding ground for conflict among family members. If anyone is unhappy about the distribution of possessions, they may enter into probate litigation. Consider the following:
Family 1: While still in their late 20s, Gary and Pam consult an attorney and draw up a will. They have four children and a mortgaged house in the suburbs. While their children are in middle school and high school, Gary and Pam are killed in an interstate crash. In accordance with Gary and Pam’s arrangements, Pam’s sister and brother-in-law take in all four children. The family home is sold, and the money easily covers the funeral, and the remainder — plus life insurance money — is divided into college funds for the kids. Pam’s daughters inherit her grand piano and their grandmother’s first edition books. Gary’s sons inherit his favorite rare film camera and their grandfather’s military medals.
Family 2: Charlie and Andrea are so busy with jobs and four kids that they never get around to drawing up a will. When Charlie and Andrea are killed in a weekend speedboat accident, their friends are shocked and unsure of what to do. The kids go to four different foster homes while the state searches for someone to care for them. The bank forecloses on the house. Charlie’s brother and sister-in-law inventory the house for valuables, which are sold to pay for the funeral, and the sentimental things are lost in the chaos.
Discuss Your Estate Plan Options Today
If you’d like your children and grandchildren to have an inheritance or you want to clearly communicate certain directives about your medical care and finances, an estate plan is the best way to ensure that your wishes are executed. At Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC, our lawyers have the experience, compassion and capability to guide you through every step of the estate planning process.
- We Provide a One-on-One Client Experience
- We're Committed to Finding a Solution
- Years of Collective Legal Experience
- We Want the Best for Each Client