Even if it seems taxing, creating an estate plan can be critical

Creating a plan for the future -- especially one where you won't be able to speak for yourself -- can be a daunting endeavor. However, this doesn't mean that you should just put it off indefinitely. Unfortunately, this is precisely what many people across Georgia do when it comes to estate planning. They think, "Maybe next year," or, "I have plenty of time to worry about it later."

But the uncomfortable truth is that if you wait too long to make a plan, you could be leaving many difficult decisions and obligations in the hands of your loved ones. For instance, instead of leaving all your property and assets to your spouse and kids, you could be leaving a big portion of all that to the government if you do not take steps to minimize tax liabilities.

This appears to be the case for music legend Prince, who recently died unexpectedly. News reports have stated that there has been no will identified, which means it will be up to the courts to determine how his estate will be distributed.

At this point, estate administrators believe that more than half of Prince's $300 million estate could be slated for taxes, instead of being distributed among his heirs and other beneficiaries.

There are many ways people can shield assets from going toward tax payments. Setting up trusts, giving financial gifts and leaving money and property to a spouse are just a few ways that a person could protect their assets and minimize tax liabilities. And you do not need to have a $300 million estate at stake to warrant an examination of your options. You just need assets you want to protect and wishes you want carried out.

Rather than leave the fate of your estate in the air, you can work with an estate planning attorney to create a will and other critical planning documents. It can be a difficult process, but you don't have to navigate it alone.

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