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.
At this point, the property might be individually divided among the beneficiaries, or it could be sold at an auction with the proceeds divided between the owners. Owners also have the right to bring legal action for property partition.
This is not an ideal situation, and it illustrates the importance of estate planning even though it can be a process that people may avoid because they fear it will be stressful. Creating an estate plan is a way of making things easier for loved ones. If a person owns a business or a farm, an estate plan can help ensure that the transition is a smooth one.
A person who does not have an estate plan might want to begin by speaking to an attorney. One of the first things to consider is whether to create a will or a trust. In some situations, trusts may have advantages over wills because they are more private, they keep the estate out of probate and they give a person more control over how their assets are distributed. However, trusts can also be expensive to set up and administer, so if a person’s family and financial situation is fairly straightforward, a will may be better. Documents can also be created to appoint people to manage a person’s health care and finances if they become incapacitated.