Those who reside in Georgia may decide to include a trust as part of their estate plans. However, it may be possible to create the document in another state, and many people choose to locate their trusts in Delaware. Delaware is a popular option because beneficiaries who don't live there don't have to pay state income tax on distributions from a trust. Of course, it is possible that a beneficiary will owe taxes in his or her home state.
Georgia residents and others will ideally create an estate plan that takes care of their needs both while alive and after passing. It is also important that individuals can articulate what their plan does and how it could impact the lives of family members and friends. One of the key issues to consider is how assets will be distributed. In some cases, it may be best to leave them directly to a beneficiary.
Georgia residents may not like contemplating their mortality. However, creating a thorough plan can make it easier for surviving family members to settle an estate in a timely manner. It may be best to create a list of physical assets and financial assets in the beginning planning stages. This may make it easier for people to inventory their possessions and decide what to do with them.
In previous generations, the typical American family consisted of a married wife and husband living at home with their biological children. However, only about 35% of couples in Georgia and throughout the country today are what would fall under that category of a "traditional family." Therefore, it will likely be necessary for most people to have estate plans that look different than the ones that their parents or grandparents put together.
Georgia residents who have put off drafting an estate plan may now be thinking about taking action due to the estate tax reforms being proposed by several leading political figures. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both support slashing exemptions to pay for programs that would expand health care, forgive student loan debt and fund infrastructure projects, which has prompted many people who do not think of themselves as rich to start worrying about estate taxes.
Parents of special needs children in Georgia and throughout the country face a variety of obstacles raising their sons and daughters. One of the challenges that they face is ensuring that there is enough money or other resources to provide the care that they need. It is not uncommon for special needs individuals to rely on Medicaid or other government programs to provide some of those resources. However, there are income or asset restrictions that participants in those programs need to abide by.
Individuals may be able to benefit from having both wills and trusts in their estate plan. However, it is important for Georgia residents and others to understand the key differences between the two estate planning tools. If an asset is controlled by a will, it will have be distributed under the guidance of a probate judge. If an asset is controlled by a trust, there is no need to go through probate.
Georgia is not one of the states that has adopted the Uniform Trust Code. However, a person who is creating a revocable trust with contingent beneficiaries should still be aware that those contingent beneficiaries may have rights in some circumstances. Traditionally, revocable trusts have been used to allow the settlor, or creator, to keep control of the property in the trust. However, this might not always be the case.
For many Georgia residents, their pets are their closest companions in life. Therefore, it makes sense for owners to be concerned with the care their pets will receive after they pass away. People want to provide for their children, other loved ones and even favorite charities, but pets have a special vulnerability. After all, they cannot provide for themselves or even express their needs. People may ask others if they are willing to look after their beloved pets after death, but these kinds of verbal promises are most frequently unenforceable.
Estate planning is not a particularly fun topic, so many people put off thinking about it. However, estate planning should not be rushed. It is a broad category that could encompass many aspects of one's life. Here are a few considerations Georgia residents might have when creating an estate plan.