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Roswell Legal Issues Blog

Irrevocable trusts: A serious decision that can benefit you

Georgia estate planners who choose to create an irrevocable trust have made a serious commitment. Essentially, they have decided to give up ownership of their trust property permanently in order to receive the benefits of an irrevocable trust.

Although they will have forfeited control of the property inside the trust, the creators of irrevocable trusts will still be able to control the rules governing the trust, and they'll be able to dictate how the assets in the trust shall be used. They'll also be able to select the trustees and beneficiaries of the trust, and can even reserve the right to change who the beneficiaries are.

Do your parents have a health care power of attorney?

It's hard to watch our parents grow older. Perhaps your mother and father are in their 80s, for example, and they're not able to do all the things they used to enjoy. Playing tennis on the weekends with dad doesn't happen anymore, and mom comes to spend an afternoon with her grandchildren she isn't able to stay as long.

We all get older and, when this happens, we often have to depend more on others for support. If you're seeing your parents getting older, it may be time to have a conversation with them about estate planning and whether they have everything in order so you can be of the most assistance to them when they require it. One thing that's particularly important is having them create a healthcare power of attorney.

Tax advantages of charitable trusts

When it comes to creating your legacy, there are many facets to consider. An estate plan is an excellent way to make your wishes known and provide for the people and causes near and dear to your heart.

Your generosity to the causes you care about is an important part of creating your legacy, and even if you aren't ready to make a significant gesture by establishing a charitable trust, you can still familiarize yourself with the concepts.

Here’s why you need to write a will now

The last thing that anybody wants to think about is the moment of their death. However, that's exactly what responsible Georgians do when they want to prepare for the future – especially when they're thinking about their families.

Drafting a will offers your estate and your family an enormous amount of benefits. Conversely, failing to draft one can come with an enormous amount of difficulty.

Defining a pet trust for your faithful pooch

No one wants to think about what happens after death, but it's important to start making plans for your loved ones now. You don't have children, but you do have a faithful pet who has been your companion and loved you for years. What happens if you pass away without a plan in place for him? He has no home or person to take care of him.

A pet trust eliminates this concern. It's legally enforceable and guarantees your pet has the financial support and care he needs. You can provide assets and financial support for your pet's care, indicate who you want to take care of your pet and arrange other important parts of your pet's care.

3 key differences between a will and a living trust

Many of us have thought about protecting our loved ones in the awful event of becoming severely incapacitated or dying. You may have thought about various aspects of estate planning such as protecting property for certain family members, the management of that property or reducing the associated tax burden. Two common tools that are associated with estate planning are a will and a living trust. Even if you're in your 30s, and especially if you have a family, you may want to create a will or a living trust to give you piece of mind. What are some of the key differences between these two devices?

Before comparing some of the key com ponents of a will versus a living trust, let's define the entity called a probate court. A probate court, or surrogate court, is a special type of court dealing with the debts and property of a deceased person. The probate court judge attempts to make sure the deceased individual's creditors are paid properly, and that the assets that remain are distributed to the correct beneficiaries.

Adding to your estate (plan)

If you have been following our blog, you know that drafting a will is an exercise in asset disclosure and distribution. This document provides a specific set of guidelines for disbursing property after one's passing. While necessary, the will can be seen as just one record in a broader portfolio of life-planning documents. This portfolio of sorts is called an "estate plan." Not only does one's estate refer to ownership of items, it also relates to debts owed on possessions and gives powers to others in case of incapacitation.

Typically, three forms accompany the will in the development of an estate plan: the power of attorney, healthcare directive and a trust. If you are considering adding to your estate plan, you will want to be familiar with these components.

The gift of a will

According to an AARP poll, 40 percent of Americans over the age of 45 do not have a will. Reasons the forty percent supply for the delay include balking at the thought of contemplating their mortality or struggling with filing paperwork on their own. While it may be a time-consuming and emotionally-draining activity, drafting a will is a task adults should complete to reduce anxiety for both themselves and their beneficiaries. Visiting an estate planner can help individuals to navigate a path through the labyrinth that appears when determining inheritance, beneficiaries and executors.

Before attending a meeting with a lawyer, however, it's helpful to prepare. If you are unsure of the information that your attorney will request, here are three questions to answer that will help you get ready for your appointment:

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Herman Law Firm
760 Old Roswell Rd.
Suite 119
Roswell, GA 30076

Phone: 770-609-4468
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