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Wills Archives

Reviewing wills and larger estate plans can be comforting

No one wants to think about the loss of a loved one, but failing to discuss important estate planning matters can make a loss exponentially worse. For many Georgia families, sitting down for a discussion about wills and other estate planning documents can actually bring about a significant sense of relief. According to one study, only around 21 percent of parents have shared their plans with their adult children. That can leave many with unexpected outcomes when the time comes.

Even some estate planning pros neglect their own wills

There is something universally true about the reluctance to sit down and complete an estate plan. The habit of postponing this important task is so widespread that even many estate planning professionals fail to get their own wills, trusts and other documents in order. In fact, completing an estate plan is a New Year's resolution for many attorneys, and can also be a great approach for others in Georgia. 

Wills can prevent unintentional homelessness

Many Georgia families bristle at the suggestion that they sit down and create an estate plan. That can be especially true for those who don't have significant assets, and who view wills as little more than yet another expense. Without proper planning, however, parents can unintentionally leave an adult child homeless, even though the desire was always for him or her to inherit the family home. 

Why wills are the gift that keeps on giving

For Georgia residents looking for the perfect Christmas gift for their adult children, estate planning packages are an interesting option. Many parents feel strongly about the need to craft wills and trusts, but their adult children don't share that same level of motivation. By gifting estate planning services, parents can get their adult children off on the right path. 

Reviewing wills and trusts is a process, not a one-time task

Few Georgia residents enjoy planning for how their estate will be handled after they pass away. However, revisiting existing wills, trusts and other estate planning documents is an ongoing need and something that should be attended to every other year or so. Without those periodic reviews, it's easy to miss changes in estate law that could cost a family a significant amount. 

The role of wills and trusts in divorce planning

Going through a divorce is never an easy process for Georgia spouses, and it can feel as though there's an endless list of items that deserve one's attention. Thinking about wills and trusts might be the last thing on the mind of a spouse in the middle of divorce, but it is an important consideration. Failing to plan for the future can result in unintended outcomes. 

Newly announced estate tax exemptions could affect wills

Most Georgia residents are aware that a portion of the wealth they leave behind could be subject to taxation. In fact, some structure their wills and trusts around minimizing those obligations. One type of tax that applies after death is called the estate tax. There are thresholds that define when that tax is triggered, and the Internal Revenue Service recently announced an increase in estate tax exemptions for 2019. 

How to handle specific heirlooms in wills and trusts

Amassing a collection of artwork or other valuable items can be a lifetime accomplishment. For those in Georgia who are thinking about how to handle these types of heirlooms in their estate plan, it can be helpful to have a plan in place. Wills and trusts can ensure one's wishes are carried out, but the first step involves clearly outlining those wishes. 

How frequently should wills and trusts be revisited?

Some Georgia residents think of estate planning as a one-time event that can be completed and then checked off of the to-do list. In reality, it's absolutely critical to review wills and trusts periodically to ensure the provisions laid out within still apply. Life changes, and those changes often bring about a shift in how to address estate planning needs. 

Thinking through charitable contributions in wills and trusts

Estate planning isn't just about handing down wealth to one's children. For many Georgia families, giving back to their community is an important component of the estate planning process. There are a number of ways to go about charitable contributions, but how those gifts are handled in wills and trusts matters. Making wise choices can save in taxes while also supporting the causes near and dear to one's heart. 

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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.