Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is a broad description that includes instructions for your medical care, names your appointed agents to represent you in business activities, and defines your financial desires before and after your passing.

Wills

The most common Estate Planning document is a Will, though it is but one of three documents usually included in Estate Planning.

Georgia Last Will and Testament: Upon your passing, your Will dictates your wishes regarding how your property is to be distributed among your family and friends.

Georgia Durable Power of Attorney: In the event you become physically or mentally unable to complete day-to-day financial transactions, or make business decisions for yourself, you can select the person you wish to continue these activities on your behalf. The Georgia Durable Power of Attorney is the instrument that names this person you’ve selected and allows this person to act in your stead to pay bills, run your business, buy or sell property, and act in any manner that you would, if you were able.

Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare: It is advised that everyone being admitted into the hospital prepare a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare. Attorney Jeffrey S. Williams will be happy to meet you or your loved one at a local hospital to assist you in securing this directive.

In the state of Georgia, the Advance Directive for Healthcare combines the intent of the Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. Like the Living Will, this document allows for withholding or withdrawing treatment and authorizes a person’s physician to withhold or remove certain medical procedures, such as a ventilator, respirator, or feeding tube. The Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare also allows one to appoint a spokesperson, or agent, to make medical decisions on behalf of the patient if the patient is unable to do so, as did the former Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.

Trusts

There are two basic types of trusts, Living and Testamentary. Within the category of Living Trusts, there are Revocable and Irrevocable.

• Living trusts are established during the person’s lifetime
o Revocable living trusts allow you to remain in control of the assets in the trust, plus you can make changes to the trust at any time.
o Irrevocable trusts define the case in which you are not in control of the assets in the trust. Since the assets are no longer yours, you typically can’t initiate a change without the beneficiary’s consent. However, the appreciated assets in the trust are not subject to estate taxes.
• Testamentary trusts are set up in a will and established only after the person’s death

Contact a North Metro-Atlanta Wills, Trusts, & Estates Attorney

For more information or to schedule a consultation with North Metro-Atlanta area Wills, Trusts, and Estates attorney Jeffrey S. Williams, call (770) 645-0990.