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.
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.