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Wills Archives

Wills must be reevaluated after the death of a spouse

Losing a spouse is one of the most difficult things that many Georgia residents will ever have to go through. The days and weeks that follow such a loss can be overwhelming, with a multitude of important decisions to make and items to check off the to-do list. One task that is often overlooked during this tumultuous time is the need to review the wills and other estate planning documents of both the decedent and the surviving spouse. 

Making wise choices for charitable contributions in wills

Giving back is a big priority for many Georgia families, and charitable giving becomes an important component of estate planning. The manner in which a family handles those contributions, however, can make a big difference in the taxation bottom line. There are ways to structure wills to pass wealth along to one's chosen charitable organizations while also reducing the tax burden for heirs. 

Even the rich and famous sometimes overlook wills, other tools

With the recent passing of singer Aretha Franklin, the nation mourns the loss of an American musical icon. While Franklin certainly was skilled at dominating any stage she found herself upon, she didn't have the same level of ambition when it came to estate planning. Like so many other high-profile Americans in Georgia and elsewhere, Franklin departed without wills or trusts to guide the disposition of her extensive estate. 

Are living trusts better than wills for your specific needs?

For Georgia residents considering their estate planning options, living trusts may offer some attractive features. While wills are a good place to start an estate planning journey, it's worthwhile to consider the benefits of a living trust. The reason they're named living trusts is because they are created during one's lifetime.

Wills won't cover a child's short-term needs

Most Georgia residents take a "big picture" approach when working on estate planning. They think ahead when considering how assets should be transferred, how to minimize taxation, and how to provide loved ones with all the guidance needed to navigate the aftermath of a loss. Many people even remember to include provisions for guardianship of their children, if the need should arise. But what happens when parents pass away unexpectedly? Specifically, what happens in the hours, days and sometimes weeks, before the provisions laid out in wills and other documents are put into motion?

Addressing drug or alcohol abuse in wills and trusts

For most Georgia residents, the primary purpose of estate planning is to pass down accumulated wealth to the next generation. For families that have a loved one struggling with addiction, that goal can become complicated. Deciding how to best structure an inheritance means taking the time to think through all of the possible outcomes prior to creating wills and trusts

A fresh approach to creating wills, trusts and more

A recently published article makes the claim that "estate planning is dead." The author isn't arguing that people in Georgia or elsewhere should disregard the need for an estate plan. However, a strong argument is made that a fresh approach to estate planning could be beneficial. This augmented approach is called "legacy planning," and asks individuals to consider how their wills, trusts and other estate planning vehicles support their larger goals. 

Not all spouses want to change their wills during divorce

When many Georgia couples divorce, they intend for the process to create a permanent end to their relationship, and to go their separate ways. That is not always the case, however. Just as no two marriages are ever exactly alike, divorces are also as unique as the couples involved. In some cases, spouses don't intend to alter their wills, even after a divorce. 

Here's why wills should play a part in Georgia divorce process

For those in Georgia who are going through divorce, estate planning might be the last thing on their minds. It's important to understand, however, that if these issues are not handled at the beginning of a divorce, one's estranged spouse could end up making serious medical decisions or inheriting if an unexpected incapacitation or death occurs before the divorce is made final. Wills and other estate planning documents should play a role in any Georgia divorce. 

Digital assets an important part of Georgia wills

Life is full of changes. Thirty years ago, the average Georgia family used a traditional camera and had to take the film to a store to be made into prints, picked up the telephone or a piece of stationery to catch up with friends and relatives and wrote checks to pay the monthly bills. Technological advances have changed the manner in which the average Georgia family communicates and preserves their legacy. Yet, these same families often do not recognize the importance of addressing their digital life when it comes to the creation of wills.

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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.