Scriber Law Group, LLC.

What Are The Basic Elements Of An Estate Plan?

Every estate plan is going to have three things. First, it is going to have a Last Will and Testament. Everybody needs one. This is the document that is going to list who your immediate family members are and then it is going to have instructions on distributing the estate. It can be a very complicated distribution or it can be a very simple one, but it is going to lay out those instructions. The Last Will and Testament is also the only document in Georgia where you nominate people to become guardians of children under the age of eighteen.

The second basic part of an estate plan is called Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare. This is the successor to what was two separate documents, the living will and the healthcare power of attorney. In a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare, you nominate a person who is going to make healthcare decisions for you in case you lose the ability to do so for yourself. That can be a very short-term loss like having surgery, or it can be a long-term incapacity like a coma or degenerative dementia. The document also contains options to make decisions regarding the kinds of treatments that you want if incapacitated, such as life support, assisted feeding, or pain medication. It is very important to have this document, especially if you have a specific person that you want to make those decisions for you.

The third basic part of the estate plan is a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a document that allows someone to make financial decisions for you, in the situation that you lost the ability to do so yourself. This is the document that I encourage people to give great care to, because the person who makes that decision will have a very important job and they should be a really trustworthy person who you would trust with your assets.

Those three are the anchors of an estate plan. On top of that, from other types of estates and more complex estates, especially where there are minor children, commonly a trust will be added on as well. The broadest type of trust is going to be a living trust. That is a trust that you can set up for the benefit of spouses, children, charities, anyone you would like. A living trust is while you are still alive, and it is a trust that you can put assets in and remove throughout your lifetime and have a great amount of control over it.

Other types of trusts that people might use are supplemental needs trust in case you have a child that receives Medicaid funding or SSI for a disability or more durable, irrevocable trust for asset protection purposes.

Additionally, there might he LLCs or partnerships set up as well for business assets or for income generating assets to be added to the estate. Different types of estates might even be more complex instruments that have, more complex structures. For most people, we are going to start with the will, power of attorney and advance directives for healthcare, and these are built out from there.

Scriber Law Group, LLC.

Get your questions answered - Call for a complimentary strategy session at (404) 939-7562.

What Are The Qualities To Look For In An Estate Planning Attorney?

First, I would say is to look for an attorney who does estate planning and probate as their main practice. While many attorneys can write a basic Last Will and Testament for you, I would recommend working with someone who has years of experience in the field and can explain to you all the terms and aspects that are involved. I would also ask them what kind of experience they have with probate. I would only hire an attorney who has experience both writing the documents, presenting those documents to the court, and has a track record of having all of them approved. I want to make sure that they could talk about the issues that are involved not just with the law, but with friends, family members, and other loved ones.

Second, I recommend only working with an attorney that is comfortable with your family and understands what you are working to trying to accomplish. They should be friendly, welcoming, and be willing to put together solutions tailored to your particular situation. Beware of the attorney who is trying to steer you towards the most complicated, expensive solution and is not willing to offer options to meet your budget.

Third, I would make sure to work with a firm that answers your calls on a reasonably prompt basis. I don’t think there is a great reason for calls not to be returned within 24 business hours.

For our firm, those are all true. We try to be as communicative as possible, responding to calls and emails as soon as we can. We have had no ethics issues. We believe in working together to get the best outcome done for all of our clients in a way that meets the client’s needs, giving the client the best value we can.

Finally, I would double-check to see if the attorney had any record for misconduct with the state bar. If they are in Georgia, they can look to the Georgia Bar website and the attorney does not have any ethics issues or complaints.

What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling Estate Planning Matters?

What makes our firm well situated is that we have been doing this for years. We have years of experience handling trusts, estate planning, and probate issues. We have courtroom experience handling Will contests and trust litigation. Our courtroom experience has given us the knowledge to see what kind of issues commonly pop up when people pass away. We take that experience back to our estate planning clients and work to prevent conflict before it starts.

We like working with our clients. We answer calls and emails as soon as we can. We love working with all different types of clients and families. We like working with people who may not be comfortable working with an attorney. We are not going to shoehorn people into doing things a certain way, because that is what they expected from an attorney. We want to create a great experience for every client.

For more information on Basic Elements Of An Estate Plan, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (404) 939-7562 today.

Scriber Law Group, LLC.

Get your questions answered - Call for a complimentary strategy session at (404) 939-7562.