CALL 770.999.9799 TO SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
Atlanta Estate Planning Attorney
For most people, the idea of estate planning can be a little uncomfortable. That’s why it’s so easy to put off. But, at Nadler Biernath, we do our best to make the process painless, helping solve our clients’ problems.
Establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Proper estate planning puts you in charge of your finances, but it’s about more just handling your financial assets. It also covers guardianship, medical power of attorney and even potential end-of-life decisions. An estate plan can save your loved ones the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.
Fortunately, the hardest part of estate planning is typically working up the will to call an attorney for an initial consultation. After that, we work with you to create a plan based on your wishes and needs.
What to include in an estate plan
Estate planning isn’t just for high-asset individuals. It’s for everyone—everyone who owns a home or a car, has a retirement account, is the parent of young kids, or who wants a family member or trusted friend’s help during a medical emergency. For many families, an estate plan will include:
- A last will and testament.This will name your executor and detail how you want your estate to be handled after your passing. If you have minor children, this document will also determine their guardian should both parents pass away.
- Advance medical directive and living will. If you’re unable to make your own medical decisions, this will allow someone else to perform that role for you. It’s also the place to share wishes regarding life-sustaining interventions, saving your family the difficulty of making those decisions for you.
- Financial power of attorney: This will name someone who can help pay your bills, make deposits and sell assets if you’re unable to make your own financial decisions during a period of incapacity.
- Revocable trust. If you’re the parent of a special needs child, a trust can help protect their financial future.
How an estate plan protects your assets and your family
Without an estate plan in place, your assets will pass through probate after your death. The process is expensive, time-consuming and open to the public. If you’re married and have children, you may assume that your spouse will automatically be able to access your assets. This isn’t the case, however.
It’s not unusual for the probate courts to freeze assets for weeks or even months while trying to determine the proper disposition of the estate. Planning avoids this sometimes painful delay, allowing instead for a process that’s quick, inexpensive and private.
Estate planning also allows you to select a guardian for your children should you and your spouse die at the same time or in close order. Leaving this immensely personal decision to the courts can result in family disagreements or placements that are not what you would have wished. Careful planning allows you and your spouse to consider what’s most important to you in the upbringing of your children.
If it’s time to create your own estate plan, or to update an existing plan, you need an Atlanta estate-planning attorney. Contact Nadler Biernath today to schedule a consultation.