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Many Americans haven't created wills or other financial plans

According to a survey conducted by Wells Fargo, as many as four out of 10 Americans over the age of 65 have not taken steps to secure their estate planning wishes. That can create a real problem for loved ones who have little guidance in the absence of wills and other documents. There are steps that can limit financial vulnerability for Georgia residents, but a proactive approach is required. 

Drafting a will is a great place to begin, but many people also need additional documents. An advance health care directive and a health care power of attorney are also advised. A financial power of attorney can also be critical to handling money matters if the need arises. It's also critical to make wise choices when naming beneficiaries for various asset types. 

One way to ensure that one's plans are carried out as intended is to store the appropriate documents in more than one way. Having paper copies at home or in a safe deposit box is fine, but having copies stored with an attorney is even better. Creating digital copies is another great option, and there are multiple companies that offer this service. 

For those in Georgia who have not yet addressed estate planning, there's no better time than right now to begin. Crafting wills and other essential documents takes far less time and effort than many people imagine. The peace of mind that results is well worth those investments, both for benefactors and for their loved ones. Leaving one's affairs in good order is a gift with a value that cannot be overstated. 

Source: cnbc.com, "These costly estate planning mistakes can be fixed", Lorie Konish, May 10, 2018

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At Hodges Law Firm, we handle a wide range of legal issues for clients throughout the Atlanta area, including elder law, estate planning, probate, Medicaid planning and protection, asset protection, litigation, and business law and services. We are knowledgeable in the law and understand the real life implications of legal actions.