Estate planning is defined as managing assets during a person’s life and after passing while minimizing taxes. Georgia residents who are planning to leave behind any assets at all for future generations can benefit from an estate plan. Ideally, an individual will have at least a will if he or she wants to avoid the potential fate of 55 percent of Americans who don’t have one.
A person can have an attorney help craft estate plan documents or create them on his or her own. These documents provide an individual with more control over where his or her assets go after passing away. Instead of hoping that a house goes to a child while money is left to a charity, an estate plan can dictate that this is what happens after a person dies. Having clear instructions may reduce the odds of family infighting after a parent or grandparent passes on.
An estate plan can make it easier for someone to preserve his or her assets while still alive. If a person is injured, an insurance policy can help to cover the costs of recovery. Proper long-term care planning could also prevent the need for an asset spend down to qualify for Medicaid. By not having to spend money or liquidate assets to pay for health care, there will be more available to transfer to future generations.
Consulting with someone who has probate and estate planning experience can make it easier to preserve assets and help create a lasting legacy. For some people, it may be worthwhile for them to place their property into a trust to keep it outside of an estate for probate purposes. In addition, it can keep property away from creditors or limit how it can be used by beneficiaries. Individuals can also benefit from creating a will or making beneficiary designations on eligible assets.