When people in Georgia create an estate plan, they should make sure that their beneficiaries do not have debts that could cause them to lose an inheritance. Before distributing an inheritance, an executor is obligated to perform a child support search and find out if an heir has a child support judgment. The only higher priority over a lien of this nature is the estate’s tax debts.
The executor is supposed to pay the person’s child support debt and then distribute anything remaining to the beneficiary. However, in some situations, this can be more complex. For example, one woman left a house to her three sons. Since one of them had a child support judgment, he could not take possession of the house. In a situation like this, an executor may have no choice but to sell the home. However, if the other two brothers are willing and able to pay the third brother’s child support debt, it might be possible to avoid this. In return, the two brothers could then take a larger portion of the home or some other asset.
A person who thinks a beneficiary has credit issues may want to discuss options with an attorney. Creating a trust might be one way to protect an inheritance from creditors.
Trusts can have a number of other uses in an estate plan. For example, they can be used to help a relative who has special needs without affecting that person’s access to government assistance. They could be designed to give to charity while also providing an income for beneficiaries. In addition, they can be used to distribute assets more efficiently to beneficiaries since they do not pass through probate. However, in some cases, a will may be sufficient. An attorney may be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of both tools.