There’s a fairly constant drive that East Cobb estate planning lawyers see in our society to continually acquire assets. After all, that’s one of the ways we accumulate wealth, which we then ask the estate planning lawyer to help us pass on. Simply gathering more and more assets isn’t always the best approach to building wealth, however. Those assets also need to be protected. A good East Cobb estate planning lawyer will likely want to go over ways to do just that, which can include:
- Estate planning. Of course your estate planning lawyer is going to want to help you put together a long-term plan that can provide for your loved ones. Most people don’t necessarily understand all of the tax implications that go along with various aspects of estate planning, though. For example, a fairly simple trust can help your heirs avoid a lot of taxes, which means the amount you leave to them will be larger. Certain types of trusts can also be used to shield your assets from the risks of life (both for you and your heirs), including lawsuits, divorce and bankruptcy. If you’ve always thought trusts were just for super-rich people, then this is definitely something to discuss with an East Cobb estate planning lawyer. You will likely be amazed at the difference a trust can make.
- There are so many different types of insurance on the market, and the types that will most benefit you will differ from those of someone else. The important thing to note when it comes to protecting your assets is that having insurance provides a way to pay for the unexpected without depleting your own financial resources. Yes, it costs up front, but it usually works out to be so much less than not having insurance when you need it.
- Business structure. If you are a business owner, you may not have considered the structure of your business as a means for protecting it. In fact, the right business structure will protect more than just the business. For example, if a sole proprietor gets sued for a faulty product or workplace injury, his or her personal assets can be used to pay for damages. Operating under a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), on the other hand, can separate your business and personal assets so that one is not affected by the other.
These are just a couple of the myriad of ways that estate planning lawyers in East Cobb protect their clients’ assets. Every situation is different and has its own needs, of course, and your attorney should be willing to look at yours from every angle to advise you on the best route to take. Give us a call at 770-425-6060 and let’s get started for you.
As a Marietta wills attorney, I know that choosing a legal guardian who can raise your kids if you are unexpectedly incapacitated or pass away can be a daunting and difficult challenge. There are many things to take into account, such as parenting styles and the potential guardian’s ability to love and take care of your children.
These are just some of the questions we believe every parent should answer before naming a guardian.
- Where will your children live? Many parents desire to keep their children in a familiar environment if something unfortunate happens. It’s not unusual for parents to put instructions in their estate plans regarding the cities or states they want their kids to be raised in if mom or dad passes away. If the geographical location of where your kids will be placed is important to you, be sure to make this known to your Marietta wills attorney when creating your plan.
- Is your child/children familiar with the potential guardian? It is important that your children are comfortable with the guardian you are about to choose for them. If you are selecting a guardian that lives far away, you may want to consider ways to begin cultivating a relationship between your children and the potential guardian before it’s needed. Naming a temporary guardian is also important in such situations. This will ideally be a person that lives close by and can help ease the transition for your kids in relocating to their permanent guardian’s home.
- Is your potential guardian prepared to care for your child/children? There are many factors that could fall under this category, but it is important to make sure that your guardian is emotionally, physically, and financially prepared to care for your child/children. For example, you may want a grandparent to become guardian, but it’s possible that their age and their own financial and/or medical needs may make serving in this role difficult for them. Don’t forget to take their point of view into account when making your selection.
- Do any of your children need special care? If you have a child with a mental or physical handicap, it could take special knowledge and resources to care for your child. It is important to make sure that the named guardian would not be overwhelmed by this responsibility and that they are prepared to care for your child in whatever way that your child may need.
- Have you discussed this choice with your potential guardian? It is very important that you ask your potential guardian if this is a responsibility that they can take on. You will also want to talk about your desired path for raising your child/children to make sure that you are in agreement and that your wishes will be followed.
As parents, we spend a lot of time planning the best future for our children. Make sure that your planning includes naming a legal guardian should you become unexpectedly incapacitated or pass away. You should be the one making that decision – not the courts. Call our Marietta wills attorneys today at 770-425-6060, and schedule a Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session ($600 value but yours at no charge if you mention this article) so you can have the peace of mind knowing your children will be cared for by the person you want, in the way you want, if anything happens to you.
A Power of Attorney is a legal device that is used to give someone the power to act on your behalf if you are unable to. For example, if you have Alzheimer’s disease, there is a possibility that you will get to the point where it is no longer possible for you to make decisions. If a Power of Attorney (POA) is in place, this hand-selected person would step in for you. Without a Power of Attorney in place, the courts will decide whom that person will be through a very messy and costly process known as a Conservatorship.
I’m sure you will agree that you are in a much better position than the government is to decide who will speak for you. That’s why it’s important to have a Power of Attorney in place before something happens so there is never a need to involve the courts.
As far as logistics, a POA goes into effect the moment you sign it, and the Power of Attorney will expire when you decide it will.
When you talk to your estate planning lawyer in Marietta, he or she will give you the options for termination. One option is to stipulate a certain termination date. For example, military personnel may choose to set up a Power of Attorney only for the period that they are deployed.
Every POA terminates upon the grantor’s death. This means that the person that you selected as your Power of Attorney would not be able to handle any financial matters on your behalf when you pass away. If you want to select the person that handles your affairs after you pass, you’ll need to name them the executor of your estate.
You can also cancel or revoke a POA at any time that you choose to. You can do so by destroying the original document and preparing a new one, or by preparing a revocation document that informs everyone involved that the POA is no longer valid.
Giving someone control over your financial matters should be well thought out. It’s best to speak to an experienced estate planning attorney in Marietta, Georgia, who can fully explain your options and help you select the one that works best for you.
If you would like to learn more about setting up a Power of Attorney, give our East Cobb estate planning law firm a call at 770-425-6060.