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Review estate documents regularly to avoid surprises

When Georgia residents with significant means think about the future of their property, they may have a vision for how their assets will be distributed to those they care about. Still, many people refrain from in-depth overviews of their estate because of the complex interpersonal and emotional questions that the task can raise. However, for people with wealth, it can be particularly critical to have a comprehensive plan in place. Preparing a will or creating a trust is a great step forward, but it can be important to regularly review the plan.

There are many trusts to choose from

Georgia residents who are interested in creating a strong estate plan may want to consider using a trust. Parents who have children with disabilities could benefit from using a special needs trust while individuals who want to help a favored cause could create a charitable trust. A charitable trust allows an individual to benefit from an asset while alive and then transfer the remaining value of that asset to a designated organization.

Designing trusts an heir with substance abuse problems

Estate planning in Georgia can be a complicated process, especially if some beneficiaries have special needs. For heirs with developmental disabilities, there are specific trusts with appropriate wording that can prove useful. If the beneficiary has a problem with substance abuse, this may present a more nuanced situation that can't be solved with a traditional disability trust.

Informing children and other beneficiaries about a trust

One of the most common reasons for setting up a trust in Georgia, or any other state for that matter, is to generously provide for children or grandchildren. Typically, distributions won't begin until many years later. Because of this, some individuals who set up trusts tend to hold off on letting children, grandkids, or other beneficiaries know about the wealth or assets that may be coming their way.

Estate planning and charitable giving

By giving to a charity, a Georgia resident can feel like they're giving back to the community they love. While some donate every year or work as volunteers, others make their biggest contributions at the time of their passing. A solid estate plan can help ensure a healthy chunk of change goes to an important charity

Estate planning when dealing with addiction

In 2016, there were more than 42,000 deaths related to opioid use, which was a 500 percent increase from 1999, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Georgia residents who are trying to create an estate plan may need to account for a loved one's addiction. This may be necessary to protect the best interests of the addict as well as the family.

Are trusts better than wills?

Trusts and wills are legal instruments used in Georgia for estate planning purposes. Neither one is better than the other. They are simply different. A will acts as a guide for handling a person's estate after he or she dies. For instance, a will might specify how to dispose of property and provide for the care of minor children.

Special needs trusts and estate planning

Parents of children with disabilities who are living in Georgia are often concerned about estate planning. If a person with a disability is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, getting additional income, even in the form of an estate bequest, could disrupt SSI payments and eligibility for Medicaid.

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