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Add Estate Planning To Your List of Resolutions This Year, Says Marietta Wills Lawyer

Dreamstime_17212044 Resolving to get your legal affairs in order is one of the most important things you can do to make sure your family, wishes and assets are protected if something unexpectedly happens to you this year. 


Marietta, Georgia-   While many people focus on getting out of debt or getting organized for the New Year, estate planning is an equally important personal finance goal that should make every adult’s to-do list.

That’s because according to Marietta estate planning lawyer, Steve Worrall, far too many area residents are without plans to protect their family, wishes and assets should something unexpectedly happen to them.  A recent Lawyers.com survey further reveals that only 35% of adults have a basic will or other estate planning documents in place should death or incapacity occur.

 “Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn’t just for the rich,” says Worrall.  “At a bare minimum, every adult needs a basic will, power of attorney and health care directives in place to avoid a legal and financial nightmare if something unexpectedly happens to them,” he  adds.

So what are these documents and how do they help you in a time of emergency?  Worrall explains the following:

  • Will- A will is a document that specifies what should happen to your assets if you pass away.  A will may also contain guardian nominations to dictate who will care for your minor children if something unexpectedly happens to you.  
  • Trust- A trust is a legal entity that can hold title to property. With your assets securely placed in a trust, you can minimize your financial exposure to lawsuits, divorce and bankruptcy while alive.  Upon death, a trust will keep your affairs private and out of the probate court.  It also allows a great deal of control for people who do not want their inheritance going outright to their heirs if something unexpectedly happens.
  •  Power of Attorney- A power of attorney or POA gives explicit permission for someone to access your personal accounts, pay your bills and handle all other financial and legal affairs if you are incapacitated in an accident but do not die.   Under the current privacy laws, even a spouse may have a hard time accessing personal information without such documentation in place.
  • Advanced Health Care Directive- Also known as a living will, this document specifies your healthcare wishes if you are incapacitated in an accident and unable to speak for yourself.  Such wishes may range from whether you want certain medications administered to when (if at all) to start life support in critical situations.   This document also allows you to appoint the person best suited to carry out such wishes should incapacity occur.

“Accidents and serious illness happen every day without warning,” says Worrall.  “That’s why it’s so important for any adult who has not tackled their estate planning to add it to their resolutions this year.  It will save their family from years of headaches and thousands of dollars in unexpected costs should the unthinkable happen”.

About Steve Worrall

Stephen M. Worrall is an experienced family law and wills, trusts and estate planning attorney in Marietta and Atlanta, Georgia. He concentrates his practice in all areas of family estate planning, including including wills, trusts, guardians for minor children and incapacitated adults, probate and trust administration, and all areas of family law, including divorce, adoption and prenuptial agreements. He also helps families plan to protect their assets and their children in the event of their death or incapacity, and to transfer their whole wealth – their financial, intellectual, and spiritual assets – to their loved ones.

A gift to help with your New Year’s resolution

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If one of your New Year’s resolutions this year includes getting your financial and legal affairs in order should something unexpectedly happen to you, I have a gift I think you’ll enjoy.

To be specific, I just put the finishing touches on a free report I wrote entitled, “What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt Your Family: 5 Easy Ways to Make Sure Your Children, Wishes and Assets Stay Protected Should Something Happen to You”.

In this report you’ll learn 5 easy ways to get your legal and financial affairs in order, just in time for the New Year.  You won’t even need the help of an attorney for some of these important steps; simply follow my instructions in the guide and cross each item off of your “to-do” list as you go.

You’ll also discover:

  • How to legally name guardians for your minor children in a way that will hold up in a court of law
  • The difference between a will and a trust, and which tool you really need to make sure your family, wishes and assets stay protected upon your passing.
  • The details about simple document you can use to give someone legal permission to act on your behalf if you were incapacitated in an accident but did not die (…and without this document, no one will be able to help you under the current HIPPA laws!)
  • How to amass your “entire family wealth” and leave a true legacy to your children (hint: you don’t have to be wealthy and it’s easier than you think!)
  • And so much more!

To grab a copy of this report, simply visit http://bit.ly/gNUxIJ.

I’d also like to encourage you to forward this to any of your family or friends who really need to get their affairs in order just in time for the New Year.  I would especially encourage you to reach out to anyone who has minor children, owns their own home, cares for aging parents or is approaching retirement age themselves.

Again, you can get a copy of this free report now by going to http://bit.ly/dGpJM1. 

All my best,

Steve

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