Wills Attorney in Marietta, Georgia
Each of us will eventually face our own mortality. It is a frightening prospect, though few of us want to leave this Earth not having made any provisions for those we care about most. If you have never created a last will and testament before, it's important that you contact a compassionate Marietta attorney as soon as possible. Effective estate planning is vital to prevent conflict and maintain the legacy you have worked so hard to create.
A last will and testament is a legal document that gives your wishes for the distribution of your assets following your death. Writing a will is a wise move, even if you don't have a lot of property or any specific wishes about who should receive it after your death. It's an efficient way to make sure your final arrangements are carried out exactly as you wish and to avoid conflict or confusion among family members.
No matter what your will addresses, it's best to have a Marietta wills attorney help you draft it. An experienced trusts and estates attorney can ensure that your will is clearly written and legally enforceable, which means that you can rest east knowing that your family and legacy are protected.
What Kind of Property Could a Will Cover?
Commonly a will is used to direct how your property will be distributed after your death. If someone dies without a will or if property owned solely in their name is not mentioned in their will, the intestate succession laws of Georgia will likely divide the property among immediate family members.
Wills are often used to address several other important issues, including determining who will become the legal guardian of your children and who will manage property left to your children until they become of age. Your will also names a specific person to be the executor. This person is responsible for making sure that the will is followed, estate assets are gathered, and that your wishes are followed.
Hiring legal counsel when drafting a will isn’t required, however, professional legal guidance could be crucial to ensuring a will is enforceable and does what you want it to, especially if you intend to leave a close family member out of your plan or if you make any stipulation that someone could contest in court.
Requirements for a Valid Will in Marietta
In Georgia a will must meet five basic requirements in order to be valid. First, the person making a will must be at least 14 years old. Second that person must be competent to create a will. This means that the person must knowingly and intentionally be creating the will and it cannot be made under duress. Third, Georgia requires a will to be written. Fourth, the will must be signed by the person making the will. And fifth, the will signing must be witnessed by two witnesses who will also sign the document attesting that they saw each other see the will maker sign the will.
If you already have a will, it can be revoked at a later date by writing a new will. Once you fully execute your new will it is best to physically destroy the old one to prevent any confusion or future legal conflict A local, Marietta Estate Planning lawyer can offer further information about how to make adjustments to an existing will or how to create a new one.
Estate Planning With Wills
Your Will may be the backbone of your estate plan. For many people, a Will is the most important part of their estate plan. Even if you have a more complicated estate, a Will is likely always included. A Will has several uses and not just naming your heirs.
Ensure Safety & Standard of Living for Your Children
If you and your spouse both pass away, what will happen to your children? If you don’t name temporary and permanent guardians, your children may wind up in foster care until a court decides if any of your family members can take custody of your children.
Wills can be used to name a permanent guardian to take care of your children while they are minors. You can also leave instructions for how you want your children to be raised. It is always best to speak with the guardian you choose and your extended family to prevent any lapse in care or conflict between potential caregivers.
A guardian nomination is often used to appoint a temporary guardian. That is someone who can be at your home within 30 minutes to an hour to immediately care for your children until a permanent guardian can arrive. This is important if you have elected in your Will a guardian who lives a significant distance away but also even if your permanent guardian and temporary guardian are the same person.
Empower Your Spouse to Maintain Your Estate
When someone who is married and has children dies without a Will potentially up to ⅔ of your estate will be given to your children--not your spouse. And if your children are minors, then those assets must be held in a Trust created by the court until the children get old enough to then be given a significant portion of your estate outright.
That means that your spouse won’t have complete control over the assets you left for them or the family finances. This could potentially result in unnecessary financial hardship while assets are given outright or alternatively held in trust for your children. This can be entirely avoided by planning ahead of time.
Prevent a Judge from Deciding How Your Assets Are Divided
Without a Will, your county probate judge will decide, guided by Georgia’s intestate succession laws, how your assets will be divided among your spouse, children, and other family members. In most cases, Georgia’s default plan doesn’t align with your own personal desires. A Will prevents the court from applying the intestate succession rules and puts you back in control over how your estate is divided after you pass away.
Talk To Marietta Wills and Estate Planning Lawyer About Preparing a Will Today
Making a Will doesn’t require any magic words in order to be valid or enforceable. To get the most out of your Will or any type of estate planning, it may be best to consult with a local attorney that frequently helps people get the estate plan in place that is best for them.
At Block Law, we have dedicated ourselves to help our clients rest easy knowing that their family and legacy are protected. During your initial consultation, a Marietta Wills lawyer could answer questions you have and help you get started with the drafting process. To schedule yours. Call us today