Have a Plan in Place. Many of us have either personally dealt with the loss of a loved one and the chaos that can ensue when there is no WILL and no plan for the transfer of assets. Had there been a PLAN in place, grief would not be overshadowed by confusion and frustration with lack of access to information and resources.
The probate process can be expensive and lengthy. The most common asset that needs to go through probate is the family residence because the Decedent was the sole owner on title. In Georgia, Attorney Fees to probate your estate can range between $3500 up to tens of thousands of dollars. It can take your loved ones anywhere between 4-12 weeks before they can gain access to the money or resources that they need. Additionally, your CREDITORS have to be notified that your estate is open so that they can claim a part of your estate to cover your unpaid debts. Georgia probate records are PUBLIC and anyone can access the file to find out anything they want to about your estate and your family.
Creating and properly funding the Trust would avoid all of this. Placing your real estate and other property in the Trust will protect your privacy and your beneficiaries from creditors’ claims against your estate.
Other important documents that will assist you during your lifetime are the Medical Directive and Financial Power of Attorney. The Medical Directive is the document that allows a person that you appoint to make health decisions for you if you are unable to do so for yourself. The Financial Power of Attorney is designed to make it possible for a person you chose to manage your financial affairs during your lifetime. This person can oftentimes buy/sell real estate and write checks on your accounts. You should trust the person you select completely.
In order to establish an adequate plan, you should always consult with an Attorney. Kimbrough Law LLC is here to advise and serve your estate planning needs.