Modifications To Estate Plans

Ensure That Your Assets Are Distributed As You Wish

A good estate plan ensures that your estate is settled quickly and your assets are distributed according to your wishes, while minimizing estate taxes and avoiding lengthy probate proceedings. However, estate plans need to be reviewed and revised periodically to account for changes in your financial circumstances or changes to your family. At the law firm of J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C., we can review your estate plan, whether it was prepared by us or by another attorney, and revise it as necessary to reflect your current situation and take advantage of changes to tax law.

Why It's Important To Review Your Estate Plan

Many factors can cause an existing estate plan to become outdated and require modification. Gainesville attorney J. Kevin Tharpe can help you determine whether recent changes in your life call for changes to your will or other estate planning documents.

Divorce or remarriage

Birth or death of a beneficiary

Purchase or sale of property or major assets

Change in the value of your assets

Change in your financial situation (such as a significant increase or decrease in income or an inheritance)

When reviewing your estate plan, you should focus on ways of sparing your loved ones the cost and stress associated with probate. Some common ways of avoiding the probate process include:

Living Trusts

Property in a living trust is not subject to probate. You can transfer almost any asset — cars, real estate, bank accounts, etc. — into a living trust. When you create the trust, you specify a trustee for the trust (similar to an executor for a will) and the beneficiaries of the trust. After your death, the trustee distributes the property to the beneficiaries as specified in the trust.

Payable-On-Death Accounts

Another way of avoiding probate is to convert your bank accounts and securities accounts to payable-on-death accounts. You still control all of the money in the account, but when you die, the money can be claimed by your beneficiary, avoiding the probate process.

Joint Ownership Of Property

Yet another method of avoiding probate is by jointly owning your property (such as vehicles or real estate) with your beneficiary.

Gifts

You can also avoid probate by giving away property or assets while you are still alive.

Nearly 25 Years Helping Individuals With Estate Plans

Attorney J. Kevin Tharpe has nearly 25 years' experience in estate planning. Before establishing the law firm of J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C., he served as an IRS estate and gift tax attorney for three years. With this background, Attorney Tharpe is uniquely qualified among Gainesville probate attorneys to develop an estate plan that is tailored to meet your specific needs.

Let An Experienced Northeast Georgia Estate Planning Lawyer Review Your Estate Plan

Make sure that your estate plan still reflects your wishes. Talk with us and take advantage of our experience. Call the law firm of J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C., at 866-253-6994 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

We have offices in Gainesville and Young Harris for your convenience.