1. If I die, will the state get all of my money?
  2. This happens very rarely in Georgia. If you have no will and no heirs at law, then there is a chance that your estate will go to the state.

    Living wills deal with health care and are often confused with living trusts. Georgia is probate friendly; living trusts are often times more costly and confusing. The decision for the creation of a trust should never be undertaken without the advice of an attorney who specializes in probate and estate planning.

    Yes and no. Having a will is a start. A will is only one tool used in estate planning and it may be necessary for your estate to have other documents to effectively carry out your desires or to handle your affairs in the event of incapacitation. Estate planning includes providing for one’s care in the time of a medical emergency in both the short term and long term. This can be accomplished through a Power of Attorney and a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney. A well-drawn will and a well-prepared estate will save your family time, money, and a great deal of heartache.

    We do not recommend that an individual prepare his own will. The wisest money a person may spend for an attorney is for the preparation of a will and related estate planning documents.

    There are ways, especially between a husband and wife, that Probate can be avoided. Seeking advice from an attorney that specializes in probate and estate planning can accomplish this goal and allow you to weigh all options in determining if this is the best course of action for you.

  3. Should I have a living will so that my family will not have to probate my estate?
  4. If I have a will, is my estate in good order?
  5. Can I prepare my own will?
  6. Can I avoid Probate?

SOURCE: Probate Court of Athens-Clarke County

This information is based on "The Probate Whys", a brochure prepared by The Hon. Lillis J. Brown, Judge of the Probate Court of Rockdale County.