When Georgia residents begin the estate planning process, they often focus on wills, trusts and end-of-life medical planning. One area that might be overlooked is password access for electronic devices and online accounts. Not having these passwords can make the process very difficult for loved ones and estate executors.
Estate planning is not a favorite subject for most people, and it can take a while for residents in Georgia and other states to get their affairs in order. Once an estate plan is finally completed, many people think they never have to worry about the matter again. However, problems can arise as time passes, which makes revisiting a plan necessary. Here are some reasons updates may be needed.
A recent survey of attorneys, trust officers and wealth management professionals shed some light into the three largest obstacles in creating an estate plan. Some Georgia residents may be surprised that the most commonly cited threat to an estate plan is family concerns.
One essential legal document for Georgia residents who are developing an estate plan is a living will. A living will can be enforced while an individual is still alive. Individuals can use it to detail their preferences regarding any medical treatment they should receive should they become incapacitated. They can specify what type of medical treatments should and should not be used to keep them alive. Individuals can also detail how long life support measures should be used.
Some art collectors in Georgia might not know who they want to leave their favorite paintings and sculptures to. This may lead to procrastination when it comes to estate planning. Others might even completely forget to address the future of an art collection. However, if a collector dies without making a plan, family members could end up paying high taxes on valuable art. Furthermore, heirs could end up in litigation if they are not happy with how the art is distributed.
Many people in Georgia start off a new year with a personal to-do list that often includes resolutions to get or stay in shape and kick bad habits. While these are certainly worthwhile goals, a commonly overlooked item on such lists is estate planning. Some individuals may not find this topic to be all that pleasant. However, being proactive with making estate-related plans may make life easier for heirs and other loved ones while also providing much-appreciated peace of mind.
Even the youngest members of Georgia's baby boomer generation are now in their 50s. It's during this stage of life that many people begin to think about financial and estate plans. Life insurance products are one solution that's often overlooked. Taking some type of action with estate arrangements is an important step commonly recommended for the boomer generation since individuals within this age range tend to have significant assets they wish to pass along to future generations.
Georgia residents may not enjoy the process of estate planning, but it is necessary to protect one's assets and ensure they are passed down correctly. Over a lifetime, an individual may accrue a variety of assets such as brokerage, bank and social media accounts. If those accounts are protected by passwords, it is important that those who are left behind are able to access them. Ideally, all relevant documents, passwords and other important information will be kept in one place.
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.