As life expectancy has greatly increased in Georgia and throughout the nation, it is quite possible that an elder may live beyond 90 or 100 years. The estate planning process is a valuable tool for elders who wish to protect their assets and also provide for their own long-term care. There are several issues to keep in mind to avoid some of the most common errors people make when filing the documents of their estate plans.
Many elders implement living trusts. However, some fail to fund the trust, which can create problems down the line. If the trust is not made the legal owner, assets may ultimately be subject to estate tax and probate.
Another problem occurs if a person dies without having executed a final will and testament. In such circumstances, an estate is considered intestate, and all property and assets are distributed according to the intestate succession laws of a particular state. Lack of a final will also often leads to disputes among surviving family members, especially if someone claims that the decedent made verbal promises to him or her regarding an inheritance.
To avoid estate planning problems, elders will also want to make sure that all pertinent account information and documents are organized and accessible. By making a trusted heir aware of the location of such things, it helps lower the risk that certain assets may be lost. An experienced long-term care planning attorney can provide guidance and support to any Georgia resident who wishes to execute or update his or her estate plan.