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Explaining the reasons for an estate plan to family members

A Georgia resident who is making an estate plan might want to think about whether their intentions will be understood and followed by family members. While an estate owner could have a will, financial powers of attorney and trusts, there could still be conflict between loved ones.

The first step in clarifying an estate plan for beneficiaries is to make a list of all assets and their value along with who they will go to. People should include assets that have sentimental value since these can sometimes cause the most conflict. Next, the estate owner should compose a letter of intent and instruction that explains the rationale for the estate plan.

It's also vital to choose the right people for various roles in the estate plan. The executor, or personal representative, needs to be able to fulfill the necessary duties in a time of emotional turmoil. If there are minor children, a guardian should be named in case of the death of both parents. A trustee may need to be a professional since this can require complex financial knowledge. In addition, the plan should be reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains up to date.

An estate owner may want to talk to an attorney about the documents they need for their particular situation. Even if a person has few valuables, a will prevents those assets from being distributed according to state law. Furthermore, trusts can be useful in a variety of situations even if a family is not wealthy.

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