Estate planning facts that elders should know

Aging comes with many physical, cognitive and emotional challenges, some of which are easier to overcome than others. Like most elders in other states, older Georgia residents may be thinking about certain issues, such as estate planning, that they may not have been concerned with years ago. Time has a way of making one feel an urgency when it comes to preparing for the future and protecting loved ones.

The most basic issue to consider regarding an estate plan is that people cannot be expected to carry out an estate owner's wishes if no one knows what they are. Putting everything into writing and signing it before a proper witness ensures that one's estate will be administered according to plan when the time comes. To the contrary, dying with no estate plan in place can lead to some very complicated situations that cause great stress for loved ones.

Powers of attorney, wills and trusts are common documents many elders to include in their estate plans. None of these documents are required, but all are recommended if one hopes to cover all bases and execute as thorough a plan as possible. Within the context of documents, there are various types of wills, trusts and powers of attorney. Currently, approximately six out of ten adults in the United States have no final will and testament.

While a particular Georgia resident may feel that a living will is a crucial component in the estate planning process, another person might be more concerned with setting up an irrevocable trust. The good news is that estate plans are customizable, and if appropriate guidance is sought, a person can devise a plan that best fits his or her specific needs and long-term goals. A logical first step to take is to meet with an experienced estate planning and administration attorney.

Source:, "Estate Planning by the Numbers (Infographic)", March 12, 2018

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