An Act of Love: Family Legacy Planning for Metro Atlanta Parents:

An Act of Love: Family Legacy Planning for Metro Atlanta Parents:

Family Legacy Planning for Metro Atlanta ParentsThe Single Most Important Thing You Can Do Now to Feel Better About Yourself As a Parent – and Leave the World a Better Place – No Matter How Much Money You Have in the Bank

If you are like most of the parents I know, you feel guilty. It’s what parents do.

Whether your guilt is about not enough time with the kids, too much time with the kids, hovering incessantly, or being too laid back, you are worried you aren’t doing the right thing by your kids in some way.

Just the fact that you are worried about it tells me, you are an awesome parent.  Bad parents don’t worry that they are being bad parents, they just are bad and don’t care.

And, at the same time, I know you’d appreciate a quick, effective and pain-free way to remove that guilt and start really feeling great about how much you do for your kids.  Plus, make sure they know exactly how much you love them, no matter what.

I know that’s what matters most to me.  I know that kids who feel loved as children grow up to be better people, better parents themselves, more successful, happier and contribute to the world more.

I’ve seen it again and again and been frequently surprised by how much the feeling of being loved can overcome any number of circumstances for a child.

Broken marriages, early death of parents, even being given up for adoption, each of these circumstances could lead to trauma, feelings of abandonment, persistent anxiety and fear.  People who experience these challenges will have a harder time in life, be less able to maintain relationships and tend to do less well in their careers.

And, if a child feels loved through these exact same circumstances, truly and thoroughly loved and accepted, he doesn’t just survive them, he thrives. He takes the hard times and turns them into teachings.  He is a joy to be around because he is so in service to life itself.  He is loved by all because he knows the love of his parents.

It’s what makes life really matter, right?  Knowing you’ve parented your kids well and left them well-prepared for the future — safe, secure and full of self-love.

Is there really anything more important than that?

But what have you done to prepare for the day you can’t be there for them? Will they feel your love then?

It’s not a pleasant topic, I know.  It used to frighten me to paralysis when I used to think about it.  Because I didn’t know what to do to make it okay.  I love my children so much I couldn’t bear to think about them living on after me because I couldn’t envision who would care for them like I do.

And I knew that if I didn’t make decisions, a Judge would make them for me.  I knew it wouldn’t have been what I wanted and my kids would be left wondering – why didn’t mom care enough to take care of the things that really matter?

Day after day the Courts process cases of families who have lost a loved one and now it’s left up to the overworked, underpaid, harried and hurried Judge to make the critical decisions you’ve struggled with yourself, and to do so with limited or no information.

Decisions such as who will be the guardian of the children left behind, who will make financial decisions for the family until all children have become adults and who will take care of ensuring it’s all done well are left up to a stranger who doesn’t know you, love you, or really even care about you.

When you make the decisions about these things (and document the decisions properly), you are doing the right thing by your children, letting them know they can feel secure, confident, and not grow up with the kind of issues that will keep them from having successful relationships, lives and careers.

Engaging in the process of making decisions for your kids care if something happens to you and getting clear on the kind of beliefs you want them to take into the world if you aren’t there to raise them makes you a better parent.

The best part is that even though you are planning for a long-time in the future or an eventuality that may never happen, it makes you a better parent immediately.

When you clarify the way you want your children raised and the beliefs you want them to carry into the world, you naturally begin to be more conscious about your relationship with your children now.

If you’d like to explore this process of Family Legacy Planning with a metro Atlanta family legacy planning attorney, come in for a visit with me and in just 90 minutes or so you’ll know exactly how you want your children raised, what beliefs and values you want them to take into the world and pass on to their kids, and who will be the best people to do that, if you can’t be.

Normally, a Georgia Family Legacy Planning Session is $750.  It’s guaranteed to be a game-changer for you as a parent.  You’ll be closer with your children. More relaxed.  And more able to stay connected to yourself and what really matters through the parenting process.

The first three families to call us this month at 770.425.6060 and mention this blog post can schedule the Georgia Family Legacy Planning Session and we will waive the session fee.  Be sure to mention the Blog and the code “ParentsLove” so you don’t get charged.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Contest a Will in Cobb County GA

How to Contest a Will in Cobb County GA

Cobb County will, trust and probate attorneys Despite the best efforts of wills and trusts lawyers in Cobb County, Georgia, there are times when a will is challenged. There can be many reasons why this happens, and it is up to the courts to determine what is appropriate in these situations. Some of these include:

  • The will wasn’t signed
  • The person creating the will didn’t have the capacity to legally sign the will
  • He or she was unduly influenced into signing it
  • The will is fraudulent
  • The person challenging the will feels that a different personal representative should be chosen

None of these reasons for challenging (or contesting) a will is to be taken lightly. In order to prove that the will is invalid, one of these reasons needs to be proven in a court of law. The idea of simply challenging a will because you don’t like the contents may seem reasonable; but if you can’t prove one of the above factors for invalidating it, you may very well be wasting your time and resources.

Cobb County Wills and Trusts Lawyers

If you do wish to challenge a will, you will want to take your concerns to a lawyer who has experience in Georgia wills and trusts administration. He or she will give you some insight into whether or not you have a case. Be sure to choose a reputable attorney, so that you don’t end up wasting your money on a no-win case.

The lawyer will help you determine if you are a person with “standing.” That means that you need to be someone who actually has a financial stake in the outcome of the will. Someone in that position would include a child who stands to receive considerably less than siblings (or who has been cut out altogether), a potential beneficiary who believes too much of the estate has been given to a third party (such as a charity), or someone who was included in an earlier will but finds that the new will treats him or her much more unfavorably.

Challenging the Will

In order to challenge a will, the person in question needs to file the contest with the Cobb County probate court, and there is a set time limit for doing so. Because estate law changes frequently, you should consult a Cobb County wills and trusts lawyer to be sure of what the current timeframe is. He or she will help you decide if you want to pursue the case and to file the appropriate paperwork with the courts.

After reviewing the will, the courts will determine if all or part of it should be considered invalid. If the whole document is found invalid, then the estate will be distributed according to the laws of Georgia probate, unless there is an earlier version of the will that the court finds to be valid. Keep in mind that these may not actually be more favorable than the original contents of the will and will take a considerable amount of money from the overall estate before it is dispersed.

Contact A Cobb County Will and Trust Attorney

If you have questions about how to contest a will in the greater Atlanta area, please feel free to contact our Cobb County will, trust and probate attorneys at 770-425-6060 to schedule a Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session at no charge with the mention of this article.

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What an Atlanta Special Needs Planning Attorney Will Do for You

What an Atlanta Special Needs Planning Attorney Will Do for You

Atlanta Special Needs Planning AttorneySpecial needs planning attorneys in Atlanta have very specialized knowledge that can help families plan for their children’s future.  There are so many things to keep straight when it comes to raising your special needs child, and focusing on what will happen to him or her after your death is not something that is pleasant to contemplate.  Still, it is very important to take the time to meet with a special needs planning attorney in Atlanta in order to give your child the best opportunities.

An Important Tool

Special needs planning is a part of estate planning, and one of the most common things an Atlanta GA special needs atttorney is likely to advise will be a “special needs trust.”  The reason that this trust is so important is that it allows you to set aside money for your child’s future without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for government benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid.  Unfortunately, leaving your child even a small inheritance can make it so he or she is no longer eligible for this kind of aid and can severely impact quality of life.

Trusts for Your Child

There are different types of trusts that the attorney will go over with you.  Some are funded by the person with special needs, say through an award from a personal injury case or from an inheritance.  Others are specifically funded by a third party such as parents or other family members.  The second kind is the special needs trust, and if it’s the right choice for you, a qualified Georgia special needs trust attorney will be able to help you understand your options with the trust.

People to Consider

In addition to helping you set up the trust, a special needs attorney will also be able to help you determine the appropriate trustee.  In some cases, this may be a family member or other caregiver.  In other cases, the lawyer or firm may take care of the administration of the trust.  An advocate may also be chosen.  This person will be familiar with both the beneficiary’s needs and the intentions and wishes of the person creating the special needs trust.

Using the Trust

When the trust is set up, the person creating it (called the “grantor”) has a say in how the funds are to be used.  For example, money can be dedicated to the daily needs of the beneficiary.  Dispersal schedules can be created, as well.  In this way, rather than giving someone a single lump sum, you can set up a situation where monthly allotments are made.  The advocate would understand this and work with the trustee to make sure the terms were being followed in the beneficiary’s best interest.  At the same time, the trustee is charged with managing the funds through investments or other means that keep the trust funded.

Of course, this is just an introduction to the possibilities of a trust.  For a much fuller understanding and to get the ball rolling, we invite you to contact our Atlanta special needs attorneys who are knowledgeable about the field, as well as how Georgia’s state laws come into play.  To schedule a Georgia Treasures Planning Session (valued at $750) at no charge, simply call 770.425.6060 and mention this article.