Georgia residents may know that a will has to be signed to be considered valid. In most cases, it must have the signatures of two witnesses as well as the person who created it. It is often a good idea to have the testator sign the will at the same time as the witnesses to that document. However, as long as the witnesses know that the will is valid, they can sign it at another time.
While Georgia residents are not likely to be directly affected by a repeal of the federal estate tax, such a repeal could affect the capital gains tax associated with estates, and this might affect a larger number of people. However, this does not necessarily mean that waiting until the new administration takes office and passes new laws is the best approach. Any estate plan made at any time might always be created in an environment in which laws could change. Therefore, what some people might want to do is go forward with a plan based on existing law with an eye to the possible changes ahead.
Georgia couples might reach an impasse when one spouse wants to undertake estate planning and the other does not. In the absence of that spouse's cooperation, a person can still take steps to inventory assets that are held jointly and individually. Knowing what a spouse's assets are and how to access them might be important if that spouse dies and the other spouse becomes the estate's administrator.
Regardless of the amount of wealth and assets Georgia residents have, a well-documented estate plan allows them to declare their personal wishes at the end of life or in the event of mental and physical incapacity. Financial advisers and attorneys typically agree that estate plans need a will, a durable power of attorney and an advanced health care directive.
People in Georgia who do not have an estate plan might have property that will pass to their beneficiaries after their death. However, problems may arise if beneficiaries have a tenancy in common. Each person who is involved in this tenancy in common has equal rights to the property. This means that they might run into direct conflict regarding their plans for the property. A conflict over a tenancy in common cannot be resolved with a majority agreement.
Georgia baby boomers are aging and may want to begin thinking about estate planning and long-term care if they have not done so already. Many people do not plan for long-term care, and the danger here is that their children will end up paying the price. This can become expensive. One insurer found that nationwide, the median monthly cost of a nursing home private room is $7,698 and the monthly cost of a home health aid is about $3,861.
Georgia residents who may be responsible for managing their parents' assets during their later years and after their death may want to know about the different ways taxes on the assets can be minimized. There are multiple ways to cut tax debts or defer the tax consequences.
It is true that people are living longer today, but many Georgia residents still die unexpectedly at a relatively young age. In spite of this, a poll conducted in 2011 found that 60 percent of the respondents did not have wills.
Georgia entrepreneurs might want to consider creating an estate plan because if something unexpected happens to them, it could leave their business and colleagues in jeopardy. A will can cover both business and personal affairs and can appoint an executor to distribute business assets. A business owner might also want to consider using a revocable living trust for privacy reasons instead of or in addition to a will.
It's tough for most people to face the fact that one day they will die, but it's a reality that every individual must deal with. Because your time may come faster than you expect if tragedy strikes or an accident happens, it's important that your family is protected and your assets are distributed properly before you die. One way to ensure that your possessions go where you want them to go is to set up an estate plan or will with an attorney. No will is complete without the following four things.