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Reasons why it is important to have an estate plan

Some Georgians either think that they do not need estate plans or put off writing one until it is too late. It is important for people to have estate plans in place so that they have control over how their assets are passed and can minimize various taxes and fees.

If people who have accumulated substantial assets pass away without an estate plan, their families may be forced to pay estate taxes to the federal government and probate fees. Having an estate plan can help protect people and their families from gift, estate taxes and probate fees. Even people who do not have substantial assets can benefit from having estate plans in place.

With a will, people can designate who will receive their assets and when they will receive them. If people die without wills, the assets will be probated and passed according to the laws of intestacy. Estate plans may also be used to help to protect assets if an individual is sued or if they need to go to a nursing home and require Medicaid to pay for it. In addition to wills and trusts, people might also want to have advanced directives and powers of attorney in place in case they become incapacitated and are unable to make important financial and medical decisions for themselves.

People do not need to wait to plan their estates. By being proactive and planning early, individuals may be prepared in case the unexpected happens. Experienced estate planning lawyers might assist their clients with avoiding probate issues so that assets are distributed according to their wishes. Lawyers may also assist people with Medicaid planning so that they can protect their assets when they need nursing home care. Writing wills, trusts, powers of attorney and advanced directives may help people and their families to be prepared.

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