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Making estate administration and probate as easy as possible

Providing for loved ones after death is a primary goal of many Georgia residents. They made the effort to create a comprehensive estate plan that they believe expresses their wishes and will provide for their loved ones. However, the documents themselves might not be enough to make estate administration and probate as easy as possible for surviving family members.

Much of the personal information that accompanies accounts such as passwords is not included in estate-planning documents for security purposes. This information needs to be kept in a place where it can be readily located or provided to a trusted family member such as a spouse. Otherwise, it could delay distribution of those assets.

Assets that an individual intends to be passed to someone else outside of probate such as the family home need to be titled properly. Any assets that require a beneficiary designation -- like retirement accounts -- need to be reviewed periodically to make sure that the person intended to receive the account is actually listed as the beneficiary. The beneficiary designations determine where the funds in the account will go regardless of what any other estate-planning document might say.

Georgia residents and their families often find comfort in the fact that there is an estate plan in place. However, without taking these and other additional steps to be sure that the process itself is as smooth as possible, estate administration and probate can quickly become more complex and frustrating than it needs to be. When sitting down with an estate-planning attorney, be sure to complete any post-execution tasks that are needed in order to complete the plan.

Source: idahostatesman.com, "How to prepare for loss of a spouse", Mark Daly, Nov. 28, 2016

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The Bowden Spratt Law Firm, P.C.
191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 4400
Atlanta, GA 30303
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