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Estate Administration & Probate Archives

Estate administration and probate protection in a new marriage

Gone are the days of the Brady Bunch when it seemed that blended families fit together with only minor hiccups that were easily resolved in a 20 minute television show. While it may not be too difficult to figure out where to live and how to delegate parental duties in a newly created family, it may require greater effort to ensure that one has updated plans in place when it comes to estate administration and probate protection. Georgia families may benefit from reviewing their current wills and trusts to ensure that their loved ones are provided for in the manner they desire.

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.

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.

Estate administration and probate planning can prevent disputes

Although most people do not spend much time planning their estates, those in Georgia who own businesses may be more likely to make wills so that their heirs can benefit from their hard work. A well-known woman in another state built a reputable florist shop. When she died at age 86 from Alzheimer's disease, the estate administration and probate of her assets became a source of contention. Despite the fact that she made a will, at least one of the beneficiaries of the will was not satisfied.

Prince's estate administration and probate disputes continue

The estate of superstar Prince continues to take twists and turns that would have been nonexistent had he simply prepared a last will and testament. That document would have given specifics and would have identified the specific heirs and their inheritance percentages. Without the estate planning, the entertainer's fortune has been mostly up for grabs in an estate administration and probate circus that has shocked his fans and the public worldwide, including here in Georgia.

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.

Jointly-owned assets may escape estate administration & probate

In Georgia and other jurisdictions, when the first spouse dies the surviving spouse will become the owner of each asset, real or personal, that has been owned jointly with the deceased spouse. This is generally called a tenancy by the entirety. It means that the totality of the asset is owned simultaneously by the husband and the wife, and when one of them dies, it does not disturb title but full fee simple title resides in the survivor by what is called the "operation of law." These assets are not subject to estate administration & probate because they are owned by the survivor and will be accounted for on his or her death.

Planning mistakes lead to estate administration & probate

A recent survey revealed that over 30 percent of Americans do not believe they need a will or simply have not bothered to make one.  According to financial advocates, not having a will is the first of several mistakes people make regarding estate planning. Not having a plan at all may mean a person's lifetime of work will not provide for his or her family the way it was intended. In Georgia and across the country, saving one's family estate administration & probate hassles is only one positive result of having a will.

Estate planning & probate needs may support a living trust

There is often a question among estate planning experts in Georgia and nationwide that pits the benefits of a will against those of a revocable living trust. In general, there is no innate conflict and no basic need to choose between the two. For purposes of estate planning & probate considerations, it is generally appropriate to use both a will and a living trust together. If it is decided to use a living trust, at a minimum the estate plan will include a pour-over will that will send the decedent's remaining assets to the trust at death.

Estate administration & probate is avoided by living trust

In some Georgia estate plans, a living trust is established to administer assets during the benefactor's life. The revocable living trust avoids estate administration & probate with respect to the assets that have been placed in the trust. At death, the trust is administered according to its terms by the trustee.

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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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