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probate & estate planning Archives

Lessons to be learned from Aretha Franklin's estate issues

Anyone in Georgia not aware of the many potential benefits of being proactive with estate planning can learn a lesson from the Queen of Soul. Soon after Aretha Franklin passed away after losing her battle with pancreatic cancer, it was reported that she left no will or trust in place to help determine what will happen to her estimated $80 million estate. All four of the late singer's sons have since stepped up as interested parties.

Upgrading from a will to estate planning

Drafting and executing a will is only a small part of the estate planning process in Georgia. A will effectively serves the purpose of avoiding intestacy, which is the statutory process of disposing of estates that individuals leave behind without properly indicating their wishes; however, this is a legal instrument with many limitations.

Ignoring collectibles could create estate tax issues

It is important for anyone in Georgia or throughout the country to engage in estate planning. However, it may be even more important to do so for those who own collectibles. This is because collectibles have a higher capital gains tax rate compared to other assets like a house or car. The rate is 28 percent if the item is sold after being held for a year.

Why estate planning can be helpful for anyone

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.

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