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Review estate administration & probate documents annually

Many Georgia residents draft their wills after the births of their first children but never review the document again. Most people recognize the importance of estate administration & probate to ensure their children are taken care of if the parents should die. However, a significant percentage of individuals do their wills and then neglect to revise the details at regular intervals.

Many circumstances change, and the children for whom a provision was made 30 or 40 years ago may now have their own children. Considering this, wills need to be modified to be relevant at all times. Other changes can include divorces, deaths, births and more. Financial situations change -- an inheritance, lottery winnings or a personal injury award may not have been anticipated in the original drafting of the will but may need to be addressed after receipt of such funds.

A will is but one important document required for an estate plan. Other papers that are vital for inclusion -- and also need regular updating -- are powers of attorney. To take care of one's financial matters in the event of debilitation, a financial power of attorney is necessary. Furthermore, to make important health-related decisions, a health care power of attorney document must be included. It is also imperative to make the necessary modifications to these documents as circumstances surrounding the chosen representatives change -- they may have relocated or died, and replacements will have to be named.

Although it forces a person to admit his or her own mortality, revision of estate administration & probate documents at least once every year can make things much easier for those left behind upon one's death. Losing a loved one is already a traumatic experience, and if there is no clear direction related to inheritances and other related issues, it can only exacerbate the pain. Many Georgia people choose to work with experienced estate planning attorneys who can provide guidance and support when these important documents are revisited annually.

Source: thetimesherald.com, "Updating your Estate Plan is Critical to Its Success", Matthew Wallace, Oct. 7, 2016

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