Some Georgia residents may not realize that estate and financial planning go hand in hand. For example, many may believe that estate planning only makes sense if someone has financial assets to leave behind. These individuals may opt to engage in personal financial planning long before outlining their estates or making end-of-life decisions.
However, the reality is that the best estate and financial plans are created in tandem. For example, while an individual might not have a lot of money to leave behind, he or she may still have a mortgage, a lease, life insurance policies or retirement accounts that will have to be managed after death. In addition, some of these assets and accounts, such as 401(k) plans, are not managed via conventional wills but through a separate set of documents that must be completed through a retirement plan administrator's office.
In addition, estate plans don't just address what happens to assets after someone dies. A good estate plan should also reflect a person's wishes about how they wish to be cared for if they become unable to make their own medical decisions. Things like powers of attorney, advance directives and living wills are all part of a good estate plan.
It's important to remember that the person who has the power of attorney will need to know about the estate planner's financial situation. This will help ensure that finances can be managed appropriately. Furthermore, an experienced probate and estate planning attorney can help a client by making appropriate recommendations concerning wills, guardianships and financial products.