Kennesaw, GA Estate Planning Lawyers Compassionately Helping You Understand and Navigate the Law
Being proactive about your estate planning can be highly beneficial to you and your family, but it can entail some conversations which may be uncomfortable. It may be hard for you and your loved ones to think about a time when you aren’t there to care for them or a situation where they would need to care for you because you are no longer able to look out for yourself. Our lawyers at Georgia Wills, Trusts, and Probate Firm, LLC understand that this can be a delicate subject that requires not only legal skill but also tact, compassion, and empathy. We are here to carefully listen to your goals so we can build a plan to meet your personal needs. With a thorough estate plan in place, you can feel confident that your family and your assets will be protected no matter what happens. If you are ready to begin the estate planning process today, contact us at (770) 758-6832 to schedule a strategy session with one of our lawyers.
How Is an Estate Plan Defined?
An estate plan is a set of legal documents which record your instructions for what you want to happen to you, your assets, and your loved ones in the event that you pass away or become permanently or temporarily incapacitated. Your estate plan ensures that your wishes are being carried out even when you are no longer able to voice them or manage them yourself. The specific documents involved can vary based on the needs of the individual and family, but there are some common issues an estate plan should cover, such as wealth preservation, asset protection, providing for the care of any minor children, and preparing strategies for any potential disability or injury that could impact your decision-making ability. These issues can be planned for using a will, an advanced healthcare directive, powers of attorney, trusts, and other documents that can be recommended and drafted by your legal representative. You may also employ strategies, such as charitable donations, to reduce the amount of taxes owed by your estate and heirs.
Why Should Everyone Make an Estate Plan?
People tend to think of estate planning as being mostly for the very rich or elderly. However, if you asked a group of people about their preferences, you would find that most have very strong opinions about what kind of medical care they receive, to who they give their assets, and to who they want to raise their children. But if you do not have an estate plan in place when you pass away or become incapacitated, your medical and financial affairs will be settled without any input from you. This means your family will be forced to make medical decisions on your behalf without knowing your wishes, a probate court will divide your estate based on state law and not on a knowledge of your family and their needs, and your children could end up being cared for by people you’ve never met. An estate plan gives you back your voice in these situations and provides you and your family with peace of mind.
What Qualities Does a Good Estate Planning Lawyer Possess?
In order to create an estate plan that is right for you, a lawyer needs to understand your financial and family situation and your goals for your assets. A good lawyer will listen to your needs and evaluate your assets then use their legal knowledge to craft a plan that retains as much of your wealth as possible for your family or for the charitable organizations you wish to support. Your lawyer should build a strong relationship with you and encourage ongoing communication even after all the documents are written. A strong estate plan grows with you as your life and circumstances change, and you should revisit your plan with your lawyer whenever you have a major life event to be certain it still covers all of your assets and reflects your current wishes. Life events that may require a reevaluation of your plan may include marriage, the birth of a child or grandchild, divorce, buying a new home or property, beginning a new business, or a death in the family. An effective lawyer will help you keep your plan current with your life and with the constantly changing state and federal tax laws, to ensure that your family will reap the maximum benefit from the assets that you have worked so hard to accumulate.
What Advantages Are There to Hiring a Lawyer for Your Estate Planning?
We live in a world where many services have a do-it-yourself option, and estate planning is no different. There are websites that allow you to print estate planning documents and fill in the blanks to create your own plan, so why hire a lawyer? Planning your estate is an investment in the future of your family. Generic forms from the internet cannot take into account your unique goals and the specific laws and tax codes of your state. While DIY estate planning may seem like a cheap and tempting option, it could cost your family a lot of money and hassle in the long run. At Georgia Wills, Trusts, and Probate Firm, LLC, our lawyers use their knowledge of Georgia law to help you find the most effective ways to retain your wealth for your heirs. We can tailor our services to your budget and provide as much or as little help as you need. Contact us today at (770) 758-6832 to see how we can assist you.