Georgia Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions
Our Gainesville estate planning attorneys have helped generations of families throughout North Georgia create estate plans that are designed to preserve wealth and avoid probate. For specific guidance regarding your estate, we encourage you to call Hunt & Taylor Law Group, LLC, at 770-999-0272 or send us an email inquiry. We offer a free initial consultation.
Following are some of the more common questions we hear with regard to estate planning in Georgia:
How can my estate avoid probate?
The probate process takes time and can be a significant cost for an estate. However, estate assets can be kept out of probate and otherwise distributed to beneficiaries of your choosing if you title the assets to one or more trusts. There are many types of trusts that can be used for different purposes, including avoiding probate and minimizing tax obligations. For more on the different types of trusts, please see our overview of creating wills and trusts in Georgia.
What should my estate plan include?
Your estate plan should be tailored to meet your specific needs and those of your family. A comprehensive estate plan will include multiple items, which may include:
- A simple will or a complex will: for example, a pour-over will that effectively complements a trust that you create
- A financial power of attorney, which lets you name a trusted party to handle financial matters in the event that you become incapacitated
- A trust (or multiple trusts, depending on your goals and the complexity of your estate)
- A living will / power of attorney for health care, or an advance directive for health care
IMPORTANT: A will is an important document in any estate plan. If you die intestate (without a will), your estate will be distributed in accordance with Georgia probate laws. That may not be how you would like your estate distributed, and not having a will upon death can result in heartache and confusion for family members. In other words, we encourage you to work with us in drafting a will if you have not done so already. We can also review your existing will to ensure that it is enforceable.
When should I update my estate plan?
There are many circumstances and life changes that should prompt a review and update of your estate plan. Those changes in circumstances include:
- Getting married or divorced
- Starting a business
- Becoming a parent
- Receiving an inheritance
- The death of a spouse or other loved one or dependent
- Moving to Georgia from another state
- The decision to benefit a charitable cause
Every family is unique. If you have questions about your specific situation and whether you need to update your estate plan, our estate planning and probate attorneys are available to answer your questions.
What is Medicaid planning?
Medicaid is available to people with limited assets. With the right planning, Medicaid can be used to help cover the cost of long-term care or nursing home care, which can be very expensive and quickly deplete the value of an estate. Our attorneys can explain your options for using trusts, gifts to family members and other strategies in advance of the need for long-term care so that you can qualify for Medicaid someday. We can also advise with regard to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), retirement planning and when to apply for Medicare, which is the publicly funded health care plan that most American retirees rely on. All of these considerations may be factors in long-term care and Medicaid planning.
Contact Hunt & Taylor Law Group, LLC, For A Free Consultation
For a free consultation, please call us in Gainesville at 770-999-0272 or complete our contact form. Our Georgia estate planning attorneys advise and represent clients throughout Hall County and the surrounding areas.