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A complete estate plan will incorporate other elements, depending upon your situation and your goals, to assure that you accomplish what you want with your plan. A wills attorney can discuss these elements with you, but they may include a durable power of attorney, a health care directive, a HIPAA release or a trust all of which work in concert with your Will to protect you, your family, and your assets. Stepping up from the level of the most basic of Wills, a more sophisticated Will can be used to shepherd assets for minor children, to minimize estate taxes, and to provide for more structured distribution of assets to your beneficiaries according to your specific instructions. It is important to note that a Will requires probate. That is to say, when you die (if you are relying on a will to distribute your assets) someone (usually, the executor you appoint in your will) must take your Will to probate court and begin the probate process. Georgia is not the worst state in the country for probate. Many states require a family to jump through more hoops and to pay more mandatory costs to complete a probate. The fact remains, however, that probate is a process – even in Georgia. That process carries with it several potential problems which many of our clients prefer to avoid, among them:
Despite the above considerations, a well-drafted Will which is part of a comprehensive estate plan can be an effective way to accomplish your goals. The way to determine whether a will is the right tool for you is to discuss the whole picture (yourself, your family, your assets, and your goals) with a qualified wills attorney.
It’s hard to believe that more than half of all adults in America do not have a Last Will and Testament or Trust in place,
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