New to Georgia? Talk to Your Marietta Will and Trust Lawyer About Your Estate Plan.

New to Georgia? Talk to Your Marietta Will and Trust Lawyer About Your Estate Plan.

Will and Trust lawyers in Marietta have the important job of helping their clients create a legacy that is compliant with a number of different laws. For the most part, these laws will vary from state to state.  Some differences are minor, while others can impact an estate plan significantly.  Someone who already has established a will, trust, or other legal documents in one state should probably review their documents with a qualified attorney before relocating to another.

For example, if you created a trust in Georgia but then move to Florida for retirement, you will want to talk to a local Florida attorney to ensure that your wishes would still be honored and your new property protected under Florida state laws.  If you don’t know a lawyer in your new state, ask your current attorney if he or she can help make a referral.

If you are not moving away for good but still plan to buy property out of state, perhaps to live as a “snowbird” for half the year, you still need to notify your lawyer and ensure you have plans that work under each state’s laws. Otherwise, you could wind up in a situation where your estate goes through two separate probates, and your family is forced to fly all over the country to handle your end-of-life affairs.

There are some additional estate planning documents that should always be addressed with an estate planning lawyer when moving to a new state.  Powers of attorney are vital for determining who can represent you should you become incapacitated, and those are administered under state law.  Powers of attorney drawn up by a will and trust lawyer in Marietta may be disregarded by the courts in another area of the country so again, talk to your lawyer to ensure your documents will remain in compliance.

A final consideration in the discussion of where to establish a trust is the tax implications. By working with a qualified Marietta will and trust lawyer, you can uncover which state may hold the highest benefits for you, your estate, and your heirs for tax purposes.  It is possible to have trusts set up in more than one state, though the complexities of doing so are absolutely something that should be done with the guidance of a knowledgeable professional with plenty of experience in trusts administration.

Because estate planning documents take time to put in place, talk to your lawyer well before the date that you plan to leave the state for good. That will ensure that your documents will work as you intend them to, no matter where you are in the United States! For help getting started, contact our Marietta will and trust lawyers at 770-425-6060 to schedule a consultation.

 

 

 

 

Cobb County Will Lawyers: How to Handle the Disposition of Your Remains

Cobb County Will Lawyers: How to Handle the Disposition of Your Remains

Funeral planning is not a pleasant experience, especially when you’re pre-planning your own. But Cobb County will lawyers stress that it’s important to have your wishes in writing for after you pass away, since you won’t be around to let anyone know what you want done once you’re gone.

Do you want to be buried or cremated? Do you want a traditional funeral or a celebration of life gathering? Is there a certain person who you know will carry out your wishes when you’re gone? These are important questions that you should have answers to, and more importantly, questions that your loved ones should know the answers to as well.

Cobb County will lawyers often find that clients believe funeral instructions come as part of their Last Will and Testament – but this is not generally the case. A Last Will and Testament can direct how your assets and property are distributed and who should be named as guardians of your underage children, if necessary, but it will not typically direct what should be done with your body after you pass away or how your funeral arrangements should be handled.

In order to do this, you will need a Disposition of Remains – this document allows you to state what you would like done with your body after you’ve passed away, what type of funeral, if any, you’d like to have, and who should be contacted in the event of your death. You can make this document as detailed as you’d like, and unless there are unforeseen circumstances, your wishes will most likely be carried out.

For example, singer David Bowie wished that his remains would be flown to Bali after his death so that they may be cremated in a Buddhist ritual. Unfortunately, this could not be done for logistical reasons – which Bowie prepared for. Instead, his body was cremated and his ashes were scattered in Bali, which Bowie requested in the event that his remains could not be cremated on the island.

In addition, Cobb County will lawyers warn that extraordinary or outlandish disposition wishes, such as scattering ashes at Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride, cannot be legally enforced. It’s important to keep a realistic view of what should happen after you pass away, as well as to make sure that you are not putting your loved ones in a tight spot between carrying out your wishes and possibly breaking the law. A Cobb County will lawyer can give you guidance as to what type of conditions may or may not be enforceable in your documented Disposition of Remains.

If you have any questions about the Disposition of Remains, or you want to review your estate plan to make sure that your wishes have the best chance of being carried out, please contact us at 770-425-6060 to set up a Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session at no charge ($600 value).

Cobb County Will and Trust Lawyer Answers, “Will My Inheritance Be Taxed?”

Cobb County Will and Trust Lawyer Answers, “Will My Inheritance Be Taxed?”

When the subject of inheritance is being discussed, people almost always ask this question to their Will and Trust lawyer in Cobb County Here’s what you need to know about how you might be taxed on an inheritance.

Income Taxes

The IRS expects you to report every source of income. This leads many to believe that they will have to claim an inheritance when they file their annual returns. Good news! An inheritance is not counted as part of your income for tax purposes.

Capital Gains Tax

The capital gains tax kicks in any time a gain is achieved. So, if you buy a dilapidated house to renovate with plans to immediately sell it, the amount of money over the original purchase price would be subject to the capital gains tax.

Inherited assets that appreciated during the life of the benefactor would get a step-up basis. This means that the value of the inherited asset would be subject to capital gains tax from when you inherited them. Good news! You would not be responsible for the gains that took place during the life of the person who left them to you. The key here is to understand that if you do realize a gain in the future, you will be responsible for the capital gains tax from the moment you acquired the asset.

Death Taxes

A spouse can transfer unlimited assets to their spouse tax-free.  However, there is a federal estate tax that will be applicable to anyone else. Asset transfers that exceed $5.45 million are subject to the estate tax.

One positive I can report is that here in Georgia we do not have a state-specific tax.

So, there you go. You should now have a good idea about whether the money you plan to leave your loved ones will be taxed. The good news is that there are legal methods for reducing your tax burden if you are subject to them. We invite you to call our Cobb County Will and Trust attorneys at 770-425-6060 to schedule an appointment where we can help you create an estate tax plan that best meets your needs.

Cobb County Wills and Trusts Lawyer: How to Handle Underage Beneficiaries

Cobb County Wills and Trusts Lawyer: How to Handle Underage Beneficiaries

Many grandparents wish to leave a legacy behind for their grandchildren; however, they may run into some issues if those children are underage. A Cobb County Wills and Trust lawyer can help you determine what the best options are for leaving assets to underage beneficiaries, whether those assets are held in a Will or Trust, financial accounts, or as part of a life insurance benefit.

Underage Beneficiaries in a Will or Trust

Cobb County Will and Trust lawyers will always ask their clients if any of their beneficiaries are underage, or even if they would like to keep younger beneficiaries from accessing their full inheritance until they’ve reached a certain age, which is often 25. If the children are underage, an adult property guardian must be named since minors are not allowed to own property. If a significant amount of property is left to the minor, a trust should be set up to manage the property until the child comes of age. In fact, trusts can be used to ensure the minor only receives their full inheritance once they reach a certain age or milestone, such as graduating from college, while at the same time providing assets to make sure the child can achieve that milestone. A Marietta Wills and Trusts attorney can speak with you about leaving an inheritance to an underage child and will help you choose the best option for administering the distributions.  

Underage Beneficiaries of Financial Accounts

Many people choose to make beneficiary designations directly on their financial accounts, such as savings accounts, annuities, and retirement plans.  Cobb County Wills and Trusts attorneys urge their clients to carefully examine the details surrounding these beneficiary designations, as minor beneficiaries often cannot directly inherit assets after your passing. It is important to consult with a Cobb County Will and Trust lawyer to determine the best way for your underage beneficiaries to receive the inheritance you leave for them at the time when they can make informed financial decisions on their own. Directing the assets to a Will or trust is often the best bet in these situations, but consulting with an attorney will give you a much better idea of how this should be done.

Underage Beneficiaries on Life Insurance

Many parents and grandparents name their children or grandchildren as beneficiaries on their life insurance policies. As with the cases above though, an adult guardian or a trust must be named in order to hold the life insurance proceeds until the minors come of age. It is generally not advised to name minors as beneficiaries to life insurance policies, as courts will often appoint an adult to look after the proceeds until the child comes of age – and that adult may not be someone you would have wanted appointed to such a role. Speaking with a Cobb County Will and Trust lawyer may help you determine the best way to handle your life insurance beneficiary designations.

If you have any questions about the best ways to leave an inheritance to underage beneficiaries, please contact us at 770-425-6060 or steve@georgiaestateplan.com to set up a complimentary, no obligation Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session.

The Role of Georgia Wills and Trusts Lawyers When You Move to a New State

Georgia Wills and Trusts Lawyers

Trusts lawyers in Atlanta have the important job of helping their clients create a legacy that is compliant with a number of different laws.  For the most part, these laws will vary from state to state.  Some differences are minor, while others can impact the trust significantly.  Someone who already has established a trust in one state may very well want to at least review it with a trusts lawyer when relocating to another.

For example, if you have created a trust in Georgia but then move to Florida for retirement, it’s a good idea to meet with a trusts lawyer in your new city.  Likewise, someone moving from somewhere else in the U.S. to metro Atlanta should contact a Georgia trust lawyer to review the documents and potentially amend them to meet the law here.

Most often, when a trust is administered, it is done so under the laws of the state where the person resides.  This can get a little tricky if you have residences in two states—say, if you’re a “snowbird.”  In those situations, it’s best to work with trusts lawyers in both states.  The changes needed may be as small as a little wording, but they could also be more complicated.

There are some estate planning documents that should always be addressed with a trusts lawyer when moving to a new state.  Powers of attorney are vital for determining who can represent you should you become incapacitated, and those are administered under state law.  Powers of attorney drawn up by a trusts lawyer in Atlanta may be disregarded by the courts in another area.

A final consideration in the discussion of where to establish a trust is the tax implications.  By working with a good trusts lawyer, you can uncover which state may hold the best benefits for you, your estate, and your heirs.  It is possible to have trusts set up in more than one state, though the complexities of doing so are absolutely something that should be done with the guidance of a knowledgeable professional with plenty of experience in trusts administration.

To schedule an appointment for a complimentary Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session to help you review or create your estate plan, at one of our five metro Atlanta offices, we invite you to call 770-425-6060 to get started


 

 If you’d like to give your loved ones and yourself the gift of peace of mind, please call Steve at 770-425-6060 or 770-421-0808 or email him at steve@georgiaestateplan.com.

 

 

 

Can Your Children’s Spouses Inherit from You? | Marietta GA Will and Trust Lawyer

mother daughter troubled marriageWill and trust lawyers in Marietta see plenty of situations where parents who love their children are not entirely in love with their children’s spouses.  This can make the estate planning process a little tricky, because the spouse can add tension and stir up drama that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.  While some people include their sons-and-daughters-in-law in the planning process, it’s not all that unusual to leave them out.

For the most part, the son-in-law or daughter-in-law isn’t even mentioned in the will.  They don’t really even have any legal standing to inherit from the parent unless they are specifically named.  So, the parent would name his or her own child, but not the child’s spouse.  If the adult child was no longer living, the property would probably end up being inherited by the grandchildren, rather than the spouse.

That’s not to say that a child’s spouse couldn’t end up with an inheritance.  If the parents were to leave assets to the adult child and then the adult child passed away, his or her property would likely go to the spouse, and that includes what was inherited from the parents.  One would hope that this property would eventually be passed on to the grandchildren (assuming there are grandchildren), but this is not a given, as the spouse would have the legal right to do whatever he or she wanted with it.  In fact, if the spouse remarried, his or her new spouse would be the legal choice to inherit any property that was left behind, including that which was inherited this way.

So, can a Marietta will and trust lawyer keep your child’s spouse out of your plan entirely?  Yes!  You can work with your attorney to develop an inheritance trust that will protect any money you leave your kids from divorce, lawsuits, and creditors and keeps your money in the family.

Creating an estate plan can be emotional and having the additional drama of a difficult personality certainly won’t help matters any.  On the other hand, you may absolutely adore your son-or-daughter-in-law and want to make sure that they are taken care of by your estate.  In those cases, you will want to make sure that your Marietta GA estate planning lawyer specifically mentions them and what they are inheriting for your own peace of mind.

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