People in Georgia often put a great deal of thought into their legacy and how their assets will be distributed upon their death. Most people are aware of the importance of having a last will and testament. However, there are other estate planning tools, including trusts, that can help ensure that a person's assets go to the beneficiary of their choosing rather than to taxes.
Trusts come with a variety of different benefits. For one, a trust can help avoid the public process of probate as well as prevent money from going to probate fees, which can be anywhere from 3 to 8 percent of the estate. Additionally, an estate could be subject to estate and income tax. If the person has assets in different states, the estate could be subject to taxes in each state. Additionally, without a trust, the estate could be subject to creditors and lawsuits, which could be especially problematic if the person worked in a field that tends to be litigious, such as a doctor.
There are many different types of trusts. To help ensure that the correct or most beneficial type of trust is chosen, many people ask a professional with experience with creating such documents for help. Once created, however, the trust will need to be updated, as personal circumstances and laws change.
When it comes to estate planning in Georgia, there are multiple decisions that must be made. Perhaps most importantly is to ensure that a person's wishes are clearly expressed in a way that is less susceptible to a successful challenge. With the use of trusts, the trustor can ensure that all of his or her estate goes to the designated beneficiary rather than to taxes and fees.
Source: investopedia.com, "5 Benefits of Creating a Trust to Manage Wealth", Kevin Simpson, Nov. 22, 2017