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Don't let taxes mar estate administration and probate after death

Like many Georgia residents, after spending your life accumulating significant wealth that is intended to provide for your family both during life and after death, you more than likely would not want the federal government taking any more of your estate than absolutely necessary, if any at all. That is exactly what could happen, however, without proper planning. Taxes could mar the estate administration and probate commenced after your death.

Fortunately, Georgia no longer has an estate tax, so planning is only required to minimize or eliminate the need to pay federal estate taxes. Estate planning has a variety of ways to accomplish this goal. Which methods are used largely depends on your needs and desires. Some of the vehicles used are tax sensitive wills, life insurance trusts and family investment companies. Still other estate planning tools include valuation freeze strategies, post-mortem planning and charitable planning.

In order to determine the methods that will work best for your situation, it would be beneficial to sit down with an attorney. He or she should take the time to gain a full understanding of your financial and familial circumstances before proposing any plan. Once you agree to a plan, the appropriate documentation can be drafted.

In addition to meeting your wishes, your estate-planning documents will need to be valid for use during estate administration and probate proceedings. Certain language needs to be included in the documents, and the execution of them must meet the current standards set forth in Georgia law in order to ensure that you were fully aware of what you were signing and that you did not do so under duress. Involving an attorney in the process can help achieve all of your estate-planning goals, which will help your surviving family members get through the process with fewer roadblocks and maximize distributions to your loved ones.

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The Bowden Spratt Law Firm, P.C.
191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 4400
Atlanta, GA 30303
Toll Free: 877-920-1051
Local: 404-523-8337
Fax: 404-523-8323
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