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Even if you are young and healthy, you may not have as many years as you think you do to get your affairs in order. Most people believe they have plenty of time later on in life to draft a will and take care of other important legal tasks, and perhaps they do. However, we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. None of us know what the future will hold! Passing away or becoming incapacitated without a valid estate plan in place – a legal plan for how your assets will be managed and distributed – can make things much harder on your family members and loved ones if something unexpected does happen to you. If you live in or near Atlanta, Georgia, the best way to ensure your wishes are honored and your loved ones are taken care of is to enlist the help of an experienced Atlanta estate planning lawyer. Fouts Law Group knows the road ahead. We can guide you through the process and give you peace of mind!

Estate Planning 101 

Most Americans aren’t really sure what an estate plan entails or what it accomplishes. In short, it’s a legally enforceable plan for what happens to your finances and other assets either upon your passing or if you were to become incapacitated. It’s also a way to ensure that your loved ones receive the possessions and assets you want them to receive, when you want them to! An estate plan can clearly lay out your wishes and will guarantee that they are all legally honored. You can also use an estate plan to prevent having your hard-earned assets controlled by the government or prevent large portions of your estate from going towards legal costs. 

When most people think of estate planning, they think of a will. However, estate planning is so much more than just that one legal document! Depending on your assets and desires, your estate plan most likely should consist of all of the following: 

  • A will that details your legal desires for when you die 
  • A trust that protects your assets and transfers them to people of your choosing 
  • Asset beneficiary designations that declare who you want to receive what from your estate 
  • Guardianship appointments for any minor children you have when you die 
  • An advance directive that explains your wishes for medical care 
  • A power of attorney that gives another person the legal right to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated  
  • And more.

No two lives are the exact same, and no two estate plans should be either. What documents and specifications yours should include will depend on your family dynamics, financial situation, and life goals! It can be overwhelming to try to sort through all of the information you need to know on your own; our knowledgeable Atlanta lead estate planning attorney, Jeff Fouts, will take the time to get to know you, explain what your options are, and tailor your plan to your unique needs.

Is Estate Planning Really Necessary? 

Suppose you suffer some kind of incapacitating injury and can’t make medical decisions for yourself. Would your family know what you wanted? Would they agree on what you wanted? The situation could lead to extreme conflicts and even legal issues if the answers are no. 

Suppose you unexpectedly pass away. In that case, if you don’t have an estate plan, your possessions may have to go through a Georgia court procedure called probate. It’s a time-consuming, confusing, and complex ordeal that can lead to other legal battles, puts additional stress on your family members, and uses up money on court fees that could have gone to your heirs.  

These are just two scenarios, but there are many more dangers to foregoing estate planning. Essentially, if you don’t have the right legal documents in place, you are taking a chance on your and your family’s future. 

By taking the time to sort out your affairs and draft an estate plan, you are taking control over what happens to you and your belongings if you become incapacitated or die. You have the power to determine whom your minor children live with, who will get your house, and make other important determinations, not the government. You can’t secure your legacy unless you leave behind an estate plan! 

Why Choose Fouts Law Group? 

If you are looking for a skilled and knowledgeable Atlanta estate planning attorney to simplify what can be a complicated and emotional process, look no further than Fouts Law Group! For nearly three decades, our lead lawyer Jeff Fouts has successfully helped people from all walks of life and income brackets secure a promising future for themselves and their loved ones, and he can do the same for you. Don’t risk procrastinating; call our firm today to schedule a free consultation and get started!

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