This is the first in a series of articles on what to expect when you work with your Savannah estate planning lawyer. Each article will cover several of the topics that you will need to consider to make a plan that works for your needs.
Estate planning lawyers in Savannah, as well as around the country, have slightly different approaches when working with clients. These approaches need to be tailored to your personal needs, as well as to the estate planning laws of the state. That said, there are some typical things that you will likely want to cover in your plan, and your lawyer will help you determine which are important for you. Today’s article focuses on items that will be helpful should you pass away, but are also important should you become temporarily incapacitated.
- Biographical Information: Your estate plan should include biographical information that will make it easier for your executor and others to follow through on your wishes following your death or incapacitation. In addition to information about your family members, you will want to include where to find important documents like your birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, and death certificates of those who have preceded you in death but will still weigh in to the decisions that need to be made. (For example, if you have an inheritance from a parent that needs to be considered.)
- Dependants: Your estate planning in Savannah obviously needs to take your children and other dependents into consideration. As well as including basic information such as names and locations, you will also want to be sure that you have legal guardians named for minor children or adult children with special needs. It’s also a good idea to include information about others who rely on you, such as children you watch or adults for whom you provide care, as other arrangements will have to be made immediately so as not to disrupt their care.
- Animals: Whether you have pets or livestock, their care needs to be considered when you undertake your estate planning. Should you become incapacitated or pass away, how will these animals be cared for immediately? This can be a simple agreement with someone to feed and care take your pets while you are unable, or it may be a more formal arrangement for how to deal with livestock that are a part of your estate.
- Employment: Your estate plan should include information about your current employment situation. You want your family to be able to contact your employer about what is going on. Additionally, your employer may have benefits that go into effect based on your death or incapacitation, so it is important for those making decisions to have access to these benefits to care for you or your estate.
- Financial Power of Attorney: When you are incapacitated, it is unlikely that you will be able to manage your finances. Having a durable power of attorney means that you are giving someone else permission to take care of expenses for you. They might use this power of attorney to pay your bills, manage investments, and even to take care of medical expenses.
There are many, many topics that you will want and need to cover with your estate planning attorney in Savannah, and knowing what they are in advance can help you to use your time efficiently, as well as have an idea ahead of time of the kinds of choices you’ll want to make.
To get started creating a solid estate plan that protects your assets, wishes and the people you love, we encourage you to contact our Savannah estate planning law firm at (912) 352-3999 and ask to schedule a free Initial Consultation with the mention of this article.