Important advice for proper estate planning

Estate planning may be uncomfortable for Georgia residents of any age. However, there are basic steps that should be taken to ensure that an estate doesn't get bogged down in legal challenges for months or years. First, it is important for people to calculate their assets and liabilities to determine their net worth and see if any assets will fall outside of probate.

Next, they should determine who their beneficiaries will be and how they will receive assets. In some cases, it may be better to distribute them through a trust instead of a will. The choice of who should handle the estate should not be made lightly. The executor should be someone trustworthy. In some cases, the decision will be made based on what type of assets the estate has.

Finally, an individual will need to determine if a will or revocable trust makes the most sense. While a will is appropriate for many people, it may not be for those who have real estate or any other assets in more than one state. Trusts may also be better for those who are looking to avoid court oversight. The last step may be to find an attorney who will create any will or estate plan documents that an individual deems necessary.

The use of wills and trusts may allow an individual greater control of how assets are distributed and used after passing on. An attorney may be able to help an individual craft an estate plan that best meets his or her needs. Estate plans may include durable powers of attorney to increase the odds that a person's wishes are met if he or she becomes mentally incapacitated.

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