Having a properly drafted will is an important part of an estate plan. However, there are other end-of-life documents Georgia residents should have on hand.
Some people who are creating an estate plan in Georgia might wonder whether they can pass assets down to their heirs while avoiding the delays of probate. This can be done with either a joint tenancy or a trust.
In the past, Georgia grantors had little recourse if they wanted to change or put an end to an irrevocable trust. To do so, it generally cost a lot of money plus the consent of every beneficiary. However, decanting statutes may make it easier to make changes or cancel an irrevocable trust. The decanting process involves moving assets from the original trust to a second one with modified terms.
Estate plans are useful in protecting assets for intended beneficiaries. Not having a well-planned estate plan in place when one gets a divorce can result in unfortunate consequences for Georgia residents who have specific ideas about what should happen to their assets.
Georgia couples who do not have children might think they do not need an estate plan. However, an estate plan is just as important for them. While preserving wealth for their descendants might not be a concern, they may still have assets they want to leave for loved ones, a charity or even for a pet. Furthermore, an estate plan can be important for ensuring that a person is protected in case of becoming incapacitated.
Many successful entrepreneurs in Georgia have allowed their estate plans to lapse. This means that if the unexpected occurs, their loved ones may not be properly provided for. People who want to limit taxes and ensure that their assets are allocated properly after they perish should have a current estate plan.
When individuals Georgia begin to work on an estate plan, they may decide to provide financial power of attorney to one of their children, another relative or a family friend. The person who has power of attorney can make certain financial decisions for the individual if he or she becomes incapacitated.
People in Georgia who are creating an estate plan may not think they need anything more than a will. However, there are several types of assets that are passed down using a beneficiary designation and not a will. Among those are annuities, life insurance policies, accounts that are payable or transferable on death, and IRAs.
Georgia residents who are planning on making a gift after they die may benefit as much or more by doing it while still alive. One reason to consider giving a planned gift prior to death is to witness the joy and adoration that is showered upon the giver by the recipient of the money or assets. Another good reason to make the gift while still alive is to ensure that it gets made properly.
Many people in Georgia see estate planning as arranging for the transfer of physical assets and financial accounts. To a large extent, that vision is correct. Planning for post-death transfers of property is the main reason for creating an estate plan.