As one ages, thoughts of who should inherit what and what will happen to one's estate often come to mind. Yet, even though the average Georgia resident contemplates these decisions, there are still some who fail to take the necessary steps involved to create their wills and other estate planning documents. Once these documents become necessary, it is too late. The only time in which a will is necessary is upon the death of the individual. Once this occurs, the will directs how the majority of an individual's assets will be distributed.
The first step in this process is the appointment of an executor as a part of the will. This is the individual who will be responsible for making sure that assets are distributed as directed by the will. Additionally, this individual will see to it that debts are paid prior to such distribution.
Assets generally addressed in the will include real estate, personal assets and other financial assets which are held only in the individual's name. Assets that have a specific beneficiary designation are not included in a will. Such assets often include insurance policies, real property held in joint tenancy, joint bank or investment accounts and assets included as part of a trust.
While creating a will is all too easy to put off, the Georgia resident will benefit from taking the first step and making this a priority. Wills are designed to preserve one's estate and provide for loved ones. Experienced legal counsel can assist by reviewing one's assets and making recommendations regarding the best way to handle each individual situation.
Source: lakeconews.com, "Estate Planning: The difference between a trust and a will", Dennis Fordham, Feb. 24, 2018