Estate Planning FAQ: Get Answers To Common Questions
At Jen Haskins Law, LLC, I’m committed to giving people the knowledge they need to plan for their futures. Below, I’ve provided guidance on common questions about estate planning in Georgia. I’d be happy to answer your specific questions.
Do I need a will?
While there is no legal requirement for you to have a will, it’s in your best interests to have one, particularly if:
- You own property
- You have children
- You’re in a blended family
- You’re married or in a domestic partnership relationship
- You want to decide how your assets are distributed
A will empowers you to make those decisions in a legally effective way. As an experienced estate planning lawyer, I can help you put a rock-solid will into place.
If I don’t have a will, does the state get my property?
Thankfully, no. If you don’t have a will, the court will distribute your property to your relatives in accordance with Georgia law. However, everyone should have a will. You deserve to have the final say in how your assets are divided – not the state.
Will my spouse automatically inherit my assets?
Not necessarily. A lot depends on the circumstances. If you have children, for example, part of your assets will go to them. If you have real estate, the ownership transfer will vary depending on how the property is titled.
By making a will or trust, you can distribute your assets exactly how you want.
What is probate?
Probate is the court process for administering an estate once someone has passed away. It’s a common misconception that if you have a will, you won’t need probate. There are strategies for avoiding probate, however.
What is a trust?
A trust is a legal entity that holds property for the benefit of designated people (beneficiaries). A trustee is responsible for managing that property and upholding the terms of the trust.
There are many kinds of trusts, and they can be structured for many different purposes. It’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer such as myself to determine whether a trust is right for you.
What is a revocable living trust?
This is a common type of trust that goes into effect while you’re alive but can be revoked at any time. It allows you to serve as the trustee so you can still have access to your assets and manage your own affairs. You can establish the terms of the trust, including how you would like the property to be distributed upon your death. Assuming all of your assets are in the trust, your estate won’t have to go through probate.
Reach Out For More Information
Estate planning is complicated. I can equip you with the information you need to make confident decisions. You can reach me online or by phone at 478-200-2232. Based in Macon, I handle estate planning for clients across southern Georgia.