Georgia residents and others may be impacted by the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In addition to making changes to the personal and business tax code, it also affected estate tax law. For instance, individuals are allowed a federal estate tax exemption of $11.18 million. Married couples may be able to combine their individual exemptions for a total of $22.36 million.
Estate planning is important for any Georgia resident who has assets. An estate is anything that a person owned at the time of his or her death. If a person had debts or other liabilities, they would also be part of an estate. When an individual passes on, whatever is left over after liabilities have been accounted for is distributed to beneficiaries.
Many people living in Georgia have already completed their estate plans, which could include wills and advance directives. What they may not have done, however, is actually explained to their adult children what these documents contain.
With the rise in popularity and value of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, new questions have arisen for Georgia residents who want to get involved with these forms of digital investments. Backed up by blockchain technology and often characterized by anonymity, cryptocurrencies can hold great financial value. As they are personal property, it can be important to account for them during estate planning.
More so than perhaps any other kind of collection, an art collection is a reflection of its curator. His or her tastes, quirks, and, perhaps above all else, level of wealth are on display with the collected items themselves. Georgia is home to some impressive hoards of artistic gold—sometimes literally—but collectors here may make the same mistake as others: failing to do proper estate planning for the disposition of their art assets after death.
Ideally, Georgia residents will maintain their estate plans much like they would maintain their homes and cars. This means regularly reviewing them to ensure that it still meets their needs. Reviews should be done after major life events like a marriage or divorce. In light of recent tax changes, it may be a good idea for married couples to ask about their joint exemption. Married couples are now entitled to a $22.4 million federal estate tax exemption.
There are a number of common errors a person in Georgia might make in estate planning that could lead to problems in carrying out his or her wishes. One of the main errors is procrastinating on putting together an estate plan at all. If someone dies without a will or any other estate planning, the state will determine what happens to that person's belongings.
People in Georgia who are creating estate plans might want to consider the benefits of a charitable trust. This estate planning tool differs from other types of trusts in a few ways.
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.