Wills And Trusts: Warm And Friendly Guidance To Help You Protect Your Assets
Wills and trusts are the most basic estate planning tools you may need to protect your hard-earned assets. Everyone needs a will or trust, especially if they have significant assets to protect and distribute.
At the Macon-based law firm of Jen Haskins Law, LLC, I provide comprehensive will and trust services to help you craft a complete and thorough asset protection plan. I have in-depth knowledge of all aspects of estate law in Georgia. For more than a decade, I have devoted my practice to helping people make informed decisions about all aspects of estate planning, including wills and trusts.
Creating A Will In Georgia
A will, or a “last will and testament,” is a legal document that specifies how you would like your property to be divided after you pass away. If you do not have a valid will when you die, your property will be distributed by default to your surviving relatives, beginning with your spouse and children.
You can use a will to establish details like:
- Your preferred distribution of assets
- An executor who will be responsible for making sure that the terms of your will are carried out
- A personal guardian to care for your minor children;
- A trusted person to manage the property you leave to your minor children.
You may also want to specify anyone you would like to exclude from your will in order to clear up any potential complications that may arise.
Does A Will Have To Be Notarized?
A valid, legally enforceable will in Georgia must be in writing and signed by you and two witnesses who are not beneficiaries. A will does not need to be notarized, though doing so can make your will “self-proving” and speed up the probate court process.
How To Revoke A Will
You can revoke your will at any point by destroying the document or instructing someone to destroy it. To make a change, you can either revoke and rewrite the will, or you can add an amendment (a “codicil”) to the end of the will.
Your Options For Trusts
Trusts are another powerful estate planning tool that can be used to distribute assets and accomplish other objectives such as asset protection. Georgia offers a wide array of trusts for different needs, including:
- Miller trusts (also called “qualified income trusts“), which can be used for Medicaid eligibility
- Living trusts, both revocable and irrevocable, which can avoid probate
- Irrevocable trusts, which can reduce your estate tax burden
- Life insurance trusts, which offer several advantages
- Charitable trusts to benefit the organizations or causes of your choosing
I can advise you on which trusts will best suit your needs and goals.
Put The Right Will And Trust Into Place
A solid estate plan – including a will and trust, if appropriate – can go a long way toward giving you peace of mind. I would be honored to help you put the right tools into place.