Estate planning looks different for every person and family. What is necessary to have the right protections in place depend on factors such as the size of the Georgia estate, beneficiaries and goals a person may have for his or her future. Often, people overlook the importance of wills because they do not believe it is necessary for their situation or they misunderstand how a will can greatly benefit loved ones left behind.
One reason a person may be reluctant to draft a will is because he or she wants to keep financial information private. However, a lack of a will can cause significant complications after that person's death, which is an issue that impacts loved ones. Beneficiaries may wonder what they can do to help their family members, perhaps an aging parent, understand why it is important to have certain estate planning protections in place.
An estate will go through probate if a person does not have a will or under certain circumstances even if the decedent did have a will. Probate is a court-supervised process, and it will actually bring more private information to light than simply drafting a will. What happens in the probate process is public record, which means any person can technically access financial information about the estate. There are other estate planning tools, such as transfer-on-death account, that can transfer assets without probate and reduce estate taxes.
Estate planning is a smart step for everyone, regardless of income level or value of the estate. Wills, trusts and other steps can allow a person to provide for his or her family and still keep certain information private. A person may find it helpful to discuss his or her individual estate planning concerns with an experienced Georgia legal professional.