No will or trust for your estate: What happens at your death?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2021 | Estate Planning |

If you have high-end property, it may be a challenge to plan your estate well. Even after careful planning, there may be changes in your life that can result in the invalidation of your original plans. For instance, if there are family changes or changes in tax laws that complicate your initial estate plan or will.

However, when this happens and you pass away, Georgia law allows the distribution of your property to your living relatives. According to Georgia codes, the law does not blindly divide your property; it first establishes your relationship with the beneficiaries.

Living Beneficiaries

In many cases, the court can find a living beneficiary for some property. This property may include items such as insurance proceeds, 401Ks and joint bank accounts. When opening these accounts, the financial companies ask you to choose a beneficiary; therefore, the person you want will benefit from these and other financial investments at your death if the beneficiary is still living.

Automatic Transfers

It is worth noting that your spouse may automatically own some of your property once you die. These include joint bank accounts and homes. For example, the balance left in a joint bank account belongs to the surviving partner. Also, a house, according to Georgia law, may be marital property, and the surviving spouse may have an entitlement to it even at your death.

Having a will or trust is up to your discretion because the law does not compel you to create one. However, it is a beneficial way to arrange for the distribution of your property and reduce conflicts when you die. Therefore, it is essential to take control of your property while you are still there.

FindLaw Network