Georgia residents should avoid making the mistake of procrastinating on creating or updating an estate plan. The case of film director John Singleton offers a useful example of why this is the case. Singleton died suddenly in April from a stroke at the age of 51. The will he left behind was prepared in 1993.
One of the most important steps in creating a trust is choosing who will act as the trustee. The person who is creating the trust may want to choose a close friend or family member to serve in that role. However, it is also possible to have a financial adviser or another professional act in such a capacity. Some individuals may find it appropriate to have both a family member and a professional work together to administer a trust.
Estate planning strategies should be tailored to the unique circumstances of the person making the plan. However, it's also an area that can change rapidly based on state and national politics. In the future, the estate tax exemption may drop from $11.4 million to as little as $3.5 million, and the gift exemption could drop from $11.4 million to $1 million. For couples in Georgia who are considering their estate plans, the possibility of a drop in the estate tax exemption may require taking steps to ensure their assets are protected.
Estate planning in Georgia, as well as other states, involves making decisions about end-of-life issues as well as the distribution of property and funds after death. In most cases, the estate planner is primarily concerned with the needs and feelings of heirs and loved ones. These individuals likely include spouses, significant others, children and, in some cases, stepchildren.
The arrival of a new child is at the pinnacle of life's greatest joys for a Georgia couple. While no one wants to detract from the moment by contemplating 'what if" scenarios, this is precisely the time to address such situations in an estate plan. There is no greater responsibility than being a parent, and an early lesson to learn and pass on to children is to be proactive.
People in Georgia may want to pay close attention to beneficiary designations when they think about estate planning. People may feel that when they have written a will or established a trust, they have everything in order for the future. However, a wide array of assets are not generally distributed through a will or the probate process. Instead, they pass directly to another person by naming a payable on death beneficiary. Life insurance, investment accounts and retirement funds are some of the accounts that most frequently pass by naming a beneficiary, as are regular bank accounts.
There are some tactics that Georgia residents could use to reduce their future estate tax bill. The first strategy is to transfer up to $11.4 million in assets to their beneficiaries either in gifts or through their will. Married couples can choose to combine their estate tax exemption, which means that they could give up to $22.8 million tax-free. Giving money to charities can also help to reduce an estate's overall worth, which can reduce the amount of money paid to the government.
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.
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.
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.