Do you even have an estate to plan for?

| May 1, 2020 | Firm News

Some Georgia residents may not think that they need to create an estate plan. You, like many others, may not even think you have an estate or, if you do, it is not sizable enough for you to need to create a plan for what will happen to it. However, that line of thinking could cause complications for you and your family later on.

In fact, practically everyone has an estate. As a result, even if the estate is small, you would be wise to consider how you would like your estate handled after your passing. Like many people who consider it the main goal of estate planning, you could at least determine who you would like to receive certain assets.

What is in an estate?

If you still wonder whether you have an estate, just think about whether you own anything or have interests in anything. If you do, you have an estate. Some specific items that could make up your estate include the following:

  • Insurance
  • Investments
  • Real estate
  • Antiques
  • Jewelry
  • Bank account funds
  • Collectible items
  • Furniture

Of course, you could have various other items that also make up your estate. In general, your estate is the economic value of your assets, investments and interests. As a result, even if you own just a few items and they do not have much value, you have an estate. In fact, you may have family heirlooms you would not want to end up in the wrong hands, and estate planning could help avoid that.

What goes into an estate plan?

You have control over the information you include in your estate plan. You could choose to create a simple plan that consists of a will and maybe a few other documents, or you could create a comprehensive plan that includes a will, trusts, health care directives, power of attorney appointments and much more. The choice is yours, but if you feel uncertain, a will is a good starting point.

You can use your will to indicate who should act as the guardian of your minor children, if you have any, in the event of your untimely demise, and you can use the document to provide instructions regarding how you want your property distributed after your passing. You could also name an executor in your will, which is the person who will manage the affairs associated with settling your estate.

How can you get started?

You may feel a little concerned about how to properly start your estate plan or what you should include, and you are not alone. Many people feel intimidated by the process, which is why they contact experienced Georgia attorneys to help them. Enlisting the help of a legal professional may allow you to create a plan that best suits your needs.