The mere thought of death or possible incapacity makes many people uncomfortable. That is why so many people are reluctant to create an estate plan. A 2021 survey by Caring.com revealed that nearly a third of American adults (32.9%) do not have a will. However, setting up an estate plan is critical for protecting your assets, minimizing taxes, eliminating certain court costs, and ensuring that your property is distributed to your loved one according to your wishes.
As an estate planning attorney in Conyers, Georgia, one of my goals is to simplify the process of setting up an estate plan and to help clients understand why having an estate plan is so important. Let me guide you through the process of creating a will, living trust, advanced directive, power of attorney, and other important documents.
I am the founder of Sharline S. Green P.C., a Conyers-based law firm that helps people plan ahead and make some of the most difficult decisions in their lives. Whether you live in Conyers, Atlanta, Loganville, Covington, Greensboro, Snellville, Oxford, Lawrenceville, or Grayson, I am prepared to answer your questions and provide you and your family with peace of mind.
Many people do not understand the importance of estate planning. However, there are several reasons every person needs an estate plan including:
It simplifies the probate process. Dying without an estate plan can lead to confusion and delay, and can make the probate process more costly and time-consuming.
It protects you in the event of incapacity. Having a comprehensive estate plan helps protect you, your assets, and your family in the event of your incapacity. It communicates your wishes when you’re unable to do so.
Your assets will be distributed to beneficiaries according to your wishes. Dying without an estate plan may result in the distribution of your assets in a manner that you would never have wanted.
A common misconception is that estate planning is only for the elderly, wealthy, or ill. In reality, everyone can benefit from having an estate plan, even young, healthy, and those who do not have significant assets.
An estate plan can be comprised of many legal documents. Each of these documents serves a specific purpose. Common types of documents that may be included in an estate plan are:
A Simple Will. A simple will – also known as a last will and testament – is a document that spells out how you want your assets and property to be distributed upon your death. A well-drafted will can also designate a person who should become the guardian of your minor children if you pass away before your kids turn 18.
A Living Trust. A living trust can complement most estate plans by allowing some of your assets to be placed into a trust for easier management and distribution, and to protect them from an expensive and lengthy probate process.
A Power of Attorney. This legal document gives another person, also known as the agent, the power to act on your behalf in the event of your disability or incapacity.
An Advance Directive. In this legal document, you can spell out your decisions about end-of-life care and name a person who would make decisions for you when you are unable to do so.
If you are considering creating an estate plan, seek the legal counsel of an experienced attorney to help you protect your assets and loved ones. Your attorney will do all of the following:
Find the right solution for your needs. Everyone has a different situation, which is why you might need a customized plan created just for you to make sure that all of your wishes are carried out.
Help you draft enforceable documents. Having a skilled attorney on your side will ensure that you create enforceable legal documents.
Avoid mistakes. Creating an estate plan can be time-consuming and stressful, which is why you need someone who is familiar with the process and knows the applicable laws to help you avoid mistakes and make the process less confusing and stressful.
Help you maximize management and minimize costs. My goal is to help clients create a plan for the efficient and effective management of their personal and financial affairs, while minimizing taxes, court costs, and legal fees as much as possible.
At Sharline S. Green P.C., I help clients address their particular legal needs and ensure that their wishes are honored after they are gone. I am passionate and dedicated to assisting people in understanding what they can do to formulate a comprehensive plan to protect their assets and legacy. I work with clients in Conyers and neighboring areas, including Snellville, Covington, and Lawrenceville, among others. Schedule a free session with me today to discuss your estate planning needs.