Estate planning involves deciding how an individual’s assets will be distributed, administered, and controlled after death or if they become mentally incapacitated. It also takes into consideration the individuals financial obligations and properties in case they become mentally incapacitated. This plan is used to provide comfort to friends and relatives who are living with the decedent; it provides for the economic needs of the family and loved ones; it provides security during a mourning period; and it allows loved ones to deal with the transition of death. Proper estate planning also provides for the financial needs of loved ones after death, said a wills and trusts lawyer in Georgia.
The first step in estate planning is to make a Will. A Will is a document written by a person that describes the wishes of the decedent on various matters including the disposition of his/her property and finances. The will should be made within a reasonable time after death to allow the decedent’s last wishes to be implemented.
There are certain steps that an individual can take to avoid probate and keep assets from the state’s Department of Revenue (DOTC). Prior, to death a testator could sign a Living Will. This type of document tells the courts that the testator is in agreement with the wishes of his/her estate concerning the distribution of probate assets. If there are no Living Wills, estates may establish a power of attorney or execute a deed in lieu of will. If a will is not executed properly, probate can be avoided.
In addition to executing a Living Will, the person must appoint an executor. An executor is a person who has legal authority to handle and administer the decedent’s affairs. The appointment of the executor should be made with careful planning and review of the individual’s circumstances. Appointment should occur as soon as possible after death, to ensure that all probate requirements have been met. The appointment of an executor can be a person with expertise in financial and business matters or a legal representative such as a certified public accountant, insurance attorney, or tax advisor.
Once appointed, the executor is responsible for determining the decedent’s final will and distributing his/her property and assets. For many people this task may seem overwhelming and stressful. However, if the proper steps are taken to hire a qualified individual, the process can be simplified and the chances of a contentious probate proceeding greatly reduced. Hiring a probate lawyer is often the best way to achieve success in avoiding probate.
Probate can be an extremely stressful event for family and friends that need to quickly deal with the affairs of a loved one who has passed away. Avoiding probate and sharing non-probate assets with the decedent’s heirs ensures that estate settlement will occur peacefully and without unnecessary stress. If you have questions regarding how your estate will be distributed or would like more information regarding probate, you should contact a probate attorney as soon as possible. They will provide you with the answers you need and guide you through the process of filling out the final paperwork necessary for probate and avoiding the stress that can come with it. For more information, follow and click this link.