Estate planning, trusts and end-of-life planning

Estate planning is an important process to Georgia residents. It is not just something that wealthy people should be concerned about, and it does not just deal with happens to a person's assets after he or she dies.

One important aspect of estate planning is preparing for becoming incapacitated and end-of-life care. This includes protecting assets from the cost of long-term care. Long-term care insurance might help prevent this although it may be best to consult with a financial expert. A person might also want to consider leaving instructions regarding health care and appointing someone to make decisions regarding finances. A power of attorney might be given to more than one person. For example, two siblings might share the responsibility, or a person might appoint a relative and an attorney. Choosing two people can help with a system of checks and balances.

Another consideration is whether to use a will or a trust to pass assets to loved ones. Trusts bypass the probate process and can help protect assets from taxes. A person might use a trust to give part of their estate to charity. Finally, estate planning involves looking at the family dynamic and dysfunctions and attempting to make good choices based on that knowledge.

People who are considering using a trust might want to discuss their options with an attorney. Trusts can be flexible and powerful vehicles with many uses. For example, they can be set up to put conditions on when a beneficiary receives assets, can provide care for a relative with special needs, or can pass assets directly to grandchildren.

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