Below are 7 key things to consider regarding your estate planning needs:
1. What is a Will - A Will is a legal document that allows you to specify who will inherit your property after you die. It also allows you to name your personal representative, create trusts, and name a guardian for your minor children.
(a) direct who will get your property when you die
(b) designate your personal representative (executor)
(c) create trusts to control your property after you die
(d) name a guardian to care for your minor children
2. Benefits of having a Will - Having a well drafted Will can save you and your loved ones a great deal of time and money. In contrast, if you do not have a will you may have no control over what happens to your estate after you die. As a result, your loved ones may suffer costly delays and even hardship. A properly executed will can alleviate all of these concerns.
3. Having an attorney execute your Will – You should not attempt to execute a Georgia Will by yourself. Wills must be executed in strict conformance with laws set forth by the State of Georgia. Please contact Walker Estate Planning and learn how to avoid getting caught up in potentially lengthy and often costly probate court proceedings.
4. We Need More than Just a Will – You should have more than just a simple Will. We believe that an Estate Plan should comprise of, at a minimum, a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive. In the event that you do not die but are incapacitated, a durable power of attorney can take effect or continue to take effect. Similarly, an Advance Health Care Directive, or Living Will, can direct your loved ones to make decisions at a time when you no longer can make the decisions.
5. Major Life Events Require Planning - Life’s major events can have significant impacts on your estate. Whether you are getting married, having your first child, divorcing, retiring, or planning for elder care – prudent planning with us will help ensure that you and your family are protected. In the alternative, some life events may invalidate your Will. As such, when planning for major life events, you could contact us to discuss your best course of action.
6. Tax Laws Will Change - Over time tax laws invariably change. Elections are held and new legislators pass new laws. It is our belief that in a time where the typical age of society is rising, people are living longer, the drain on our social services is going UP therefore taxes are inevitably going UP during our lifetimes. Therefore, we at Walker Estate Planning monitor the estate and income tax law changes. We keep you apprised of material changes to the tax laws. Furthermore, we constantly look for ways to add value for our clients. As such, we insert estate tax planning provisions in ALL WILLS. We believe in planning for all contingencies and we want to ensure that the MAXIMUM amount of your assets pass in legacy to your children and heirs.
7. Your Business is More than Just You - Too many business owners make the mistake of not addressing the tough question of “what happens when I’m gone”. This can result in hardship to not only the business but to business partners, spouses, children, and heirs. A well-constructed business succession plan is a must for business owners. A proper Estate Plan is essential to business continuity after your death. In addition, Shareholder Agreements, Buy Sale Agreements, Shareholder Restrictions are tools that can be implemented to ensure the business continues to prosper.