creating a willIf you die without having prepared a will or trust estate plan, you are said to have died “intestate.”  You do not choose your heirs. A default state statute will determine who receives your assets.

Without any estate planning, your assets may not be distributed as you would like. This can also be confusing and upsetting to those you leave behind.  

A Last Will and Testament gives instructions to those you leave behind. It divides your assets in the way you would like. Completing a will or trust-based estate plan can eliminate surprises for your family. By acting now, you can avoid needless confusion, suffering, and disputes among the loved ones you leave behind.

A Will Is Better Than Not Having a Plan

There are several ways a will can help settle your estate. For example: 

  • A will can avoid the state law default. You decide who gets your assets by giving instructions in your will. The state law takes over when there is no will. If you act now, completing a will maintains control of your asset distribution.
  • A will can name your beneficiaries. You choose the beneficiaries you would like. If you do not have a will, state law determines who gets your assets.
  • A will can name your personal representative. You choose a responsible person to be your personal representative and manage your estate after you are gone. Your personal representative will pay your final expenses and distribute your estate according to the instructions in your will.
  • A will means less stress on your family.  If you die without any estate plan, there is more stress on your family. Waiting for probate can be difficult.  Not knowing who gets what makes it worse. The uncertainty and stress can lead to unnecessary disputes.  

Wills Have Limitations

Wills are a good starting point for your estate planning journey, but they do have limitations. A trust-based estate plan can do more than a will. For example: 

  • A trust can avoid probate. In Georgia, property left in a will must go through the probate process. This process can be long, expensive, and public. Information as to whom you left assets and the value of those assets will be publicly available.
  • A trust allows for incapacity planning. A will goes into effect when you die. If you become incapacitated, a trust can put your plan into effect while you are still alive.
  • A trust can reduce taxes. Trust planning gives more options to adjust how you distribute your property to minimize taxes for your heirs.
  • A trust can protect assets. A trust can provide for management and protect assets for children or others who may need help managing finances.

Speak With a Milton and Alpharetta Estate Planning Attorney to Create Your Last Will and Testament 

You deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved ones and assets are protected no matter what the future holds. 

A will gives you the power to choose your heirs and may be the right option for some people. A trust plan can offer more control, more asset protection, and the flexibility to reduce estate taxes. Each person is different and has their own needs and goals. Attorney John Boscoe can design a plan that best suits your requirements. Contact us today.