October is National Estate Planning Awareness month. Although this isn’t nearly as exciting as our upcoming holidays and other recognized days throughout the year, it certainly is as important. Why should you take the time to make sure your estate planning is updated and in order? The answer is quite simple, to make things easier for your family when you become incapacitated or pass away and to protect YOUR wishes.
Estate planning awareness means valuing the importance of being prepared. There are several essential documents that should be included in your basic estate plan.
Completing a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare
This is critical for anyone over age 18. This document allows you to appoint the person you trust to make healthcare decisions for you should you become unable. It also provides options for more detailed advanced care planning such as resuscitation, feeding tubes and antibiotics.
A General Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters (GDPOA)
Is important if you earn any income or own any property. Completing this document will allow someone you trust to step in and act on your behalf should you become unable. Having a GDPOA in place will allow the practical task of day-to-day life to be managed like paying your bills, communicating with the insurance company, and even fixing the roof!
A will is a legal document that gives instructions on how to handle your property when you die
It acts as a guide so your estate (real property, bank accounts, investments, and your “stuff”) can be distributed according to your wishes. The Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) at Hurley Elder Care Law will work with you to draft a will specific to your needs that appoints an executor who will carry out the instructions specified in your will.
Trusts are not just estate planning tools for the wealthy!
In fact, over the last few decades, people across all income brackets have used trust to plan their estates and to avoid the costs and delays of probate. A trust is a separate legal entity that controls the assets you place into it. Determining if a trust is the right tool for you is an important part of designing an overall estate plan.
The experienced attorneys at Hurley Elder Care Law can review your family’s situation and recommend a plan that will minimize many of the bureaucratic headaches for your survivors, ease the potential conflict among family members and maximize the assets that can be distributed to your heirs. We have also created a helpful downloadable checklist Being Prepared: A Practical Guide to Getting Your Affairs in Order that may also come in handy. October is a perfect time for the importance of estate planning awareness. Give us a call today at 404-843-0121.
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