Those words conjure up any number of thoughts and emotions for different people. Maybe you thought of something like:

  • “I don’t have anything, so I don’t need a plan.”
  • “That’s only for ‘rich’ people.”
  • “It’s bad luck to think about death.”
  • “I’ll think about it later.”
  • “I can’t afford it.”

But none of that is true.

Estate planning is for everyone

Your Estate is everything that you create during your lifetime, and it has very little to do with how much financial wealth you created. That is because estate planning is not just about what happens to your “stuff” when you are gone. It is about planning for all of life’s unforeseen events.

Your plan should include not only what happens in the event of your death, but also what happens in the event of your incapacity. When something unforeseen happens, and those things do happen, your family will have to make hard decisions about what to do. Someone has to pay the bills, access your home, make medical decisions, and access your accounts. Someone has to determine what happens to others who are dependent upon you – your family, your children, your pets. What you do now determines how easy or difficult that will be for your loved ones.

We have all heard stories about families who have been torn apart when a loved one dies. When your family is in the process of grief, the last thing anyone wants is to panic over “what do we do now?” This is your opportunity for peace of mind to make sure that your wishes are known and to have a plan in place.

Creating an estate plan is about the strategic organization and management of your property including real property, financial assets, and insurance policies to maximize their value both for yourself and your beneficiaries and to minimize the tax burden. This process helps ensure a smooth transfer of wealth to your intended recipients and reduces the likelihood of disputes or complications.

Planning is not just about death

In addition to planning for your death, proper planning also considers what happens in the event that you are incapacitated. You need a plan in place that specifically lays out your wishes, who makes decisions for you, and who steps in to take care of your loved ones if you cannot.

If you have minor children, proper planning is even more important. If you are in a terrible accident, who is supposed to pick up your children from school? Where do they stay? Do you want a judge, who does not know you, your values, or your family making decisions about who takes care of your children? I don’t think any of us would want that.

If you don’t have a plan, the state has one for you

If you don’t have a plan, the state has one for you and you may not like it.

We all know that one size does not fit all, but that is exactly what Georgia’s plan is.

The State of Georgia has a set of laws that cover you if you should die without any planning. These laws are referred to as “intestacy law.” But everyone’s family is unique and what the State says may not be what you want for your family and may actually not be in your family’s best interest. Additionally, passing away without a will may cause your family to have to go through the probate process which takes time and can cost thousands of dollars.

Planning ahead of time will save you money.

Keeping your family out of conflict is priceless.

Need help with your estate planning?