The final estate plan is often a difficult process, but your first step is actually relatively easy. Creating an estate planning checklist is a relatively simple and absolutely essential way to begin the process, because it provides the basic framework for any plan going forward. First, Define Your Estate Planning Goals Before you even begin to build an estate plan, you have to know what you have. You should also be able to visualize what you want to happen to your assets when you die or become incapacitated. You'll have to know the size of your estate, the ages and abilities of… Read More
The majority of people think of workers’ compensation as benefits paid for injuries a worker sustains while doing their job. However, workers’ compensation is a system that also encompasses a whole range of illnesses that workers can suffer from because of the workplace conditions. There are certain jobs and workplaces that are conducive to the development of specific illnesses. This article will present some of the most frequent illnesses caused by the workplace environment. Heatstroke Even though construction workers are exceptionally susceptible to heatstroke, this health issue can affect pretty much anyone who works in the open. Extreme temperatures, direct… Read More
In an ever-changing world, the age-old maxim “the only two certainties in life are death and taxes” continues to resonate amongst the masses. However for LGBT couples, what sounds settled and simple is instead intricate and fluctuating. Constantly at the mercy of governmental mandates affecting every core facet of experiencing life as an LGBT couple, pro-active planning for the future is an imperative. This is the first in a series of articles designed to assist, inspire and guide LGBT couples in a search for understanding why proper estate-planning is ultimately the most loving gift one can offer their partner. Lesson… Read More
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I have heard both anecdotally by fellow attorneys and other random sources that more divorce filings are made in January than any other month of the year. In my own practice, during the last few weeks, I have seen many people planning or going through a divorce or breakup speak with me about updating their estate plans and for legal advice about taking the next step. A breakup can be a very difficult experience, especially for same-sex and other unmarried couples ending long-term relationships without the protections that the process of divorce provide. Many of these stories are heartbreaking and… Read More
When a person dies without a Will, the probate court will appoint a person to administer the estate. This person is known as an administrator. In Georgia, the court will typically appoint an administrator from the following people: the first entitled is the surviving spouse; then an heir selected by the majority of all heirs; any other eligible person; any creditor of the estate; or a county administrator. O.C.G.A. § 53-6-20. Since the probate court appoints the administrator, an heir cannot simply fire her. Similar to an objection to an executor, a beneficiary can object to the administrator if the… Read More
When a person creates a Will, he or she selects a person to manage the estate. This person is known as the Executor of the estate. In some cases this person is referred to as the Personal Representative of the estate. Upon the death of the person, the probate judge will appoint the Executor named in the Will. Although the Executor must act in the best interest of any beneficiary under the Will, the beneficiary does not chose the Executor and therefore cannot fire her. This brings up the question: What can a beneficiary do if they do not agree… Read More
Upon the death of a person, an estate is administered according to the terms of a Will. However, in many cases, the loved one will pass away without leaving a Will. Such a scenario obviously brings up the question about how the loved one’s estate will be distributed. To answer the question, Georgia courts have developed what is called intestacy proceedings. Intestacy proceedings determine (a) what parts of the estate will be distributed and (b) where it will go. The State of Georgia has a specific set of rules for when a loved one dies without a Will. This is… Read More