The Role of Georgia Wills and Trusts Lawyers When You Move to a New State

The Role of Georgia Wills and Trusts Lawyers When You Move to a New State

Georgia Wills and Trusts Lawyers

Trusts lawyers in Atlanta have the important job of helping their clients create a legacy that is compliant with a number of different laws.  For the most part, these laws will vary from state to state.  Some differences are minor, while others can impact the trust significantly.  Someone who already has established a trust in one state may very well want to at least review it with a trusts lawyer when relocating to another.

For example, if you have created a trust in Georgia but then move to Florida for retirement, it’s a good idea to meet with a trusts lawyer in your new city.  Likewise, someone moving from somewhere else in the U.S. to metro Atlanta should contact a Georgia trust lawyer to review the documents and potentially amend them to meet the law here.

Most often, when a trust is administered, it is done so under the laws of the state where the person resides.  This can get a little tricky if you have residences in two states—say, if you’re a “snowbird.”  In those situations, it’s best to work with trusts lawyers in both states.  The changes needed may be as small as a little wording, but they could also be more complicated.

There are some estate planning documents that should always be addressed with a trusts lawyer when moving to a new state.  Powers of attorney are vital for determining who can represent you should you become incapacitated, and those are administered under state law.  Powers of attorney drawn up by a trusts lawyer in Atlanta may be disregarded by the courts in another area.

A final consideration in the discussion of where to establish a trust is the tax implications.  By working with a good trusts lawyer, you can uncover which state may hold the best benefits for you, your estate, and your heirs.  It is possible to have trusts set up in more than one state, though the complexities of doing so are absolutely something that should be done with the guidance of a knowledgeable professional with plenty of experience in trusts administration.

To schedule an appointment for a complimentary Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session to help you review or create your estate plan, at one of our five metro Atlanta offices, we invite you to call 770-425-6060 to get started


 

 If you’d like to give your loved ones and yourself the gift of peace of mind, please call Steve at 770-425-6060 or 770-421-0808 or email him at steve@georgiaestateplan.com.

 

 

 

Can Your Children’s Spouses Inherit from You? | Marietta GA Will and Trust Lawyer

Can Your Children’s Spouses Inherit from You? | Marietta GA Will and Trust Lawyer

mother daughter troubled marriageWill and trust lawyers in Marietta see plenty of situations where parents who love their children are not entirely in love with their children’s spouses.  This can make the estate planning process a little tricky, because the spouse can add tension and stir up drama that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.  While some people include their sons-and-daughters-in-law in the planning process, it’s not all that unusual to leave them out.

For the most part, the son-in-law or daughter-in-law isn’t even mentioned in the will.  They don’t really even have any legal standing to inherit from the parent unless they are specifically named.  So, the parent would name his or her own child, but not the child’s spouse.  If the adult child was no longer living, the property would probably end up being inherited by the grandchildren, rather than the spouse.

That’s not to say that a child’s spouse couldn’t end up with an inheritance.  If the parents were to leave assets to the adult child and then the adult child passed away, his or her property would likely go to the spouse, and that includes what was inherited from the parents.  One would hope that this property would eventually be passed on to the grandchildren (assuming there are grandchildren), but this is not a given, as the spouse would have the legal right to do whatever he or she wanted with it.  In fact, if the spouse remarried, his or her new spouse would be the legal choice to inherit any property that was left behind, including that which was inherited this way.

So, can a Marietta will and trust lawyer keep your child’s spouse out of your plan entirely?  Yes!  You can work with your attorney to develop an inheritance trust that will protect any money you leave your kids from divorce, lawsuits, and creditors and keeps your money in the family.

Creating an estate plan can be emotional and having the additional drama of a difficult personality certainly won’t help matters any.  On the other hand, you may absolutely adore your son-or-daughter-in-law and want to make sure that they are taken care of by your estate.  In those cases, you will want to make sure that your Marietta GA estate planning lawyer specifically mentions them and what they are inheriting for your own peace of mind.

What to Expect from Estate Planning in Atlanta, Part IV

What to Expect from Estate Planning in Atlanta, Part IV

happy family in park 3

 

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.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What to Expect from Estate Planning In Atlanta, Part II

What to Expect from Estate Planning In Atlanta, Part II

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

Our last article looked at several things you will need to consider and prepare when working with your will and trust lawyer in Atlanta.  Today’s article continues on with additional considerations that are generally important upon death.

  1. Wills and Trusts:  Estate planning lawyers are focused on helping you craft just the right kinds of wills and trusts for your needs. (And, no, trusts are not just for super-rich people.)  These documents will be used to explain your wishes for what is to happen with your assets when you die and will be used to protect your estate or heirs from paying unnecessary taxes on what you are leaving behind.
  2. Funeral Arrangements:  Your Atlanta will and trust lawyer will likely encourage you to make funeral arrangements as part of the planning process.  Planning for one’s own funeral isn’t always the most enjoyable task (although some folks do find it cathartic).  On the other hand, taking care of arrangements in advance takes a big burden off of your family and friends and helps to ensure that things happen the way you would have wanted.
  3. Organ Donation: Medical science has progressed to the point where many organs and tissues of deceased individuals can be used to give the living a new lease on life.  Your Atlanta will and trust lawyer can go over these possibilities with you and help you put the proper documentation in order if organ or tissue donation is something you want to do.
  4. Obituary: Oftentimes, an obituary is written by a close friend or relative after someone has passed away.  You can actually write your own in advance, saving them from doing so during their grief and making sure that you get to highlight the events and achievements from your life that were most important to you.  Keep in mind that obituaries are not typically published for free, so your estate plan may also set aside some money to pay for the placement of the piece.
  5. Health Care Directives: Your health care directives are an incredibly important part of working with a will and trust lawyer in Atlanta, and you need to be sure that they’re not only in order, but also available to those who need them.  These documents will include information on your choices about medical treatment, as well as end-of-life decisions that you have already made.

By working with a reputable will and trust lawyer in Atlanta, you can make sure that all of these areas are considered and that they fall under the laws and codes of Georgia.  For more information or help getting started, please feel free to call our office at 770-425-6060 to schedule a complimentary Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session ($750 value) with the mention of this article.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Estate Planning for Single Parents in Marietta and Cobb County GA

Estate Planning for Single Parents in Marietta and Cobb County GA

single momSingle parents tend to work hard for their children, so it’s no wonder that those in Marietta and Cobb County want to protect the children they would leave behind should the adult be killed or become incapacitated.  Every day it falls to the single parent to provide just about everything for his or her children, and with 13 million single parent households in the US, there are a whole lot of folks doing their best to provide everything their children need today.  Working with a Marietta Georgia guardianship lawyer is the right step to make sure they are also provided for in the future.

As a single parent, your estate plan may look different from that of a married parent.  In those cases, there are laws in place to ensure that both property and custody have a means of passing to the surviving spouse.  In your case, however, the courts would determine your next of kin and disperse your property, as well as appoint a guardian, based on Georgia state laws.  While it’s great that there are laws like this to rely on when a single parent dies with no will in place, it’s not necessarily such a wonderful thing if the person/people named are not those you would have chosen yourself.

For example, it’s quite common for grandparents to be given custody of a child upon the parent’s death.  In many families, that would be the perfect choice.  In others, however, a better choice could be made.  Perhaps there has been a falling out between family members, or it’s possible that the grandparents are either too old or just otherwise not in the right place in their lives to be starting over raising children.

Clearly, appointing a guardian for your child or children is one of the most pressing issues for which to see an estate planning attorney in Marietta or Cobb County.  It’s not the only one, though.  This lawyer can also help you to create a financial plan which can help support your child even if you aren’t there.  You might be advised to look into a life insurance policy or to participate in a Georgia college savings plan.  Likely, a guardianship lawyer in Marietta will also help you to create a trust or trusts which can not only protect some of the money from being heavily taxed, but also give you some say over how the money is to be used and by whom.

An estate planning attorney will also help you to make sure that everything is in order.  He or she will ask you about bank accounts, insurance policies, retirement accounts, and even military service, as all of these can possibly be directed to the care of your child or children.  Every family, no matter what the marital status is, is unique.  With the help of a Marietta estate planning lawyer, you can put together a plan that works for your specific situation.