In the modern world, more and more assets are becoming digitized. From photo albums and record collections to stocks and cryptocurrencies, estate plans need to account for the digital sphere if they are going to meet the goals of families in Georgia. Managing digital assets in an estate plan can be challenging for a few reasons. Not only can they be hard to find, but they may require a password or some type of digital signature to access. Ownership rights are also not always clearly defined.
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.
Georgia residents often delay the necessary process of creating a will. Either due to uncertainty regarding beneficiaries, general procrastination or an unwillingness to confront one's mortality, doing what should be done often remains undone. When estate owners finally realize the importance of having a will in place, they will need to consider the importance of choosing the right executor.
Poor estate planning can often lead to unintended consequences for loved ones, including family conflicts. One of the first steps a Georgia estate owner can take in order to make this less likely is choosing the right executor.
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.
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.
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.
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.