What to Expect from Estate Planning in Atlanta, Part IV

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This is the fourth in a series of articles on what to expect when you work with your Atlanta estate planning lawyer.  Each article will cover several of the topics that you will need to consider to make a plan that works for your needs.

In this series, we have covered estate planning considerations for incapacitation and death, and for the most part, they’ve been the more commonly thought-of items.  Yet, there are some other ideas that you will want to discuss with your estate planning lawyer in Atlanta, including:

  1. Service Providers:  In your estate plan, you may want to include a section regarding your service providers.  Everything from doctors and dentists to property managers and babysitters could be included here.  This gives your loved ones the opportunity to contact these service providers to let them know you won’t be working with them any longer, to clear up any outstanding bills, and to make sure that you don’t continue being billed for a service you no longer use.  This might be especially important if you have service providers who are automatically paid from your bank account.
  2. Memberships:  Memberships and subscriptions are an area that is really easy to overlook, and as mentioned above, they can cost your estate!  Belonging to a gym, country club, or other kind of organization might call for dues to be taken directly from your bank account, and without knowledge to end your contract, your executor and family members won’t even realize they need to discontinue your memberships or subscriptions.
  3. Credit Cards and Other Debts: Having a list of credit cards and other debts makes it easier for those left behind to follow up.  They’ll want to cancel various accounts, as well as to get totals owed in order to make sure your legal obligations are taken care of before the estate is distributed.  Estate planning lawyers in Georgia are familiar with the laws of the state and can guide you on what is expected.
  4. Keys and Passwords: Most of us have areas in our lives that are somehow secured from others.  In the case of your death or incapacitation, you may need to be sure that others have access to these areas.  For example, you wouldn’t want to share your online banking password with just anyone, but if someone needs that information to go with their power of attorney, it needs to be accessible.  Keys to safe deposit boxes, passwords to accounts, and even the code to your home security system should all be kept somewhere that they can be accessed if necessary.
  5. Personal Letters:  The personal letter part of estate planning is really up to an individual.  Some people choose to write special letters that loved ones can keep as mementos.  This is a time to share your feelings, offer forgiveness if you haven’t done so in life, or to just let those around you know that you love them.

There are a whole lot of facets to estate planning, and a good estate planning lawyer in Atlanta will be able to help you go over all of these aspects and many more to determine what you need to include in your estate plan.

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