Many people think of estate planning as pertaining only to the wealthiest among us, but this is far from the case. You work hard to provide for your family and to help support your loved ones, and estate planning is merely an extension of this effort and a means of helping to protect what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Your estate plan is part of your legacy, and a dedicated Georgia estate planning attorney can help you better understand how important a solid estate plan can be for your peace of mind and for your family’s future.
Estate Planning is Right for Everyone
Yes, the term estate sounds very grand, but estate in this sense boils down to your assets. You don’t need to have a hall or manor named after you to need an estate plan. In the end, your estate plan amounts to a collection of documents that helps you protect your property and other assets – now and into the future. Ultimately, your estate plan will guide how you pass your assets down to those who follow you (in accordance with your wishes).
Your Estate Plan: The Basics
The basic components of most estate plans include all of the following:
- Will – Your last will and testament identifies how your assets will be distributed, who will become your minor children’s guardian, and who will become the executor of your estate and, thus, will oversee your estate plan process.
- Financial Power of Attorney – When you sign a power of attorney, you designate who will make financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so. This can include paying your bills, managing your investments, and making business and legal decisions.
- Advance Directive for Healthcare – When you sign an advance directive for healthcare, you designate who will make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so by giving them basic parameters within which to make end-of-life medical decisions on your behalf.
- Family Trust – Your family trust controls how and when your assets will be distributed (during your lifetime and/or after your passing). A trust can be an important tool for significantly reducing inheritance taxes and probate expenses, but may not be right for your situation.
The Critical Functions of Your Estate Plan
While your estate plan will be unique to you and your life experience, the critical functions of every estate plan include the following:
- Protecting the wealth and assets you’ve amassed for your family and loved ones
- Allowing you to direct how your wealth and assets are distributed
- Allowing you to choose who will ensure that your wishes are carried out
- Making sure your family is protected from unnecessary expenses and delays in administering your estate
Reach out to an Experienced Cumming Estate Planning Attorney Today
The knowledgeable Forsyth County estate planning lawyers at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland understand the importance of careful estate planning and are committed to helping you hammer out an estate plan that allows you the peace of mind that you deserve. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 770-887-1209 today.