Georgia residents who have prepared medical or financial powers of attorney might want to review them with an attorney to make sure they are still current. Starting in 1993 with the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act, there have been several changes in law that could affect the validity or function of a power of attorney. For example, the UHCDA expands the decision-making powers of the medical POA to include items such as organ donation and life-prolonging procedures. Medical POAs created prior to 1993 can be updated to include these decision-making abilities.
An estate plan may provide several benefits to Georgia adults. For instance, it may help them limit the burden of estate taxes or provide greater control over where assets go after death. It may also make the process of settling an estate easier on surviving family members. There are several steps that should be taken to create a quality estate plan.
Remarriages and blended families are common in Georgia, but many of those involved are unaware of how to deal with pitfalls in finances and the law. The management of an estate and and naming of beneficiaries, as well as decisions about how and when to make assets available to those beneficiaries, are made more complicated by multiple marriages. There are some key areas that require attention and strategies for ensuring assets end up in the right hands.
People in Georgia who are creating estate plans may wonder whether they should use trusts instead. A trust may offer a number of advantages over a will, one of which is avoiding the potentially costly and lengthy probate process. Trust assets can be passed directly to beneficiaries without requiring a probate court to get involved.
While attorneys may draft wills, powers of attorney and trusts, Georgia estate holders must write their own letters of final wishes. A letter of final wishes gives a testator's family members, close friends and trusted colleagues information that they will likely need but cannot find in traditional estate planning documents. In addition to conveying an individual's last wishes and reflections, these letters can be a source of great comfort to grieving relatives and acquaintances during a difficult time.
Georgia residents who have created an estate plan with a strategy that aims to minimize federal estate tax might want to review that plan in case the estate tax is repealed. While its future is uncertain, thinking about a strategy now will allow people to make changes quickly if the repeal goes into effect with little notice.
When creating an estate plan, many Georgia residents focus on their will and how they want their property distributed when they die. While these are important topics, people should also think about other things. Some potential areas of concern for someone creating an estate plan include funding their funeral and setting up a revocable trust.
Estate planning consists of several tools that are important for Georgia parents who are looking to protect the well-being of their children. Parents can provide protection from the possibility of incapacity or death by ensuring assets are used for their children's benefit. In many cases, this situation will call for the use of a revocable living trust as part of the estate planning documents.
Gibbs Financial Group is sponsoring a free "Estate Planning Essentials" Workshop at the Atlanta Athletic Club, 1930 Bobby jones Dr., Johns Creek, on APRIL 13 at 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. To sign up contact Gibbs Financial Group 770-753-6359. Attorney James Miskell of the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia will be speaking.
One difficult aspect of estate planning for some Georgia residents may be choosing who should fulfill various roles. Positions such as executor, trustee and guardian all require different skill sets, and in some cases, a person might have chosen loved ones or family members who might not be suitable for the role. An attorney might be able to help a client make the right choices.