Estate Planning Basics by PykeLawGA


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									                                Estate Planning Basics

Many people hear the term “estate planning” and immediately think it doesn’t apply to
them. After all, estate planning, is only for the rich or the elderly, right? Wrong. Basic
estate planning is a necessity for everyone. As you age, or your estate grows, you can
revise your estate plan to include more complex tools. Understanding some of the most
basic estate planning tools, can help you on your comprehensive estate plan and should
be started, preferably, early on in life.

Before you can develop an estate plan, take a little time to assess your estate and your
priorities. Make a detailed list of all financial accounts, investment accounts and
retirements accounts as well as all real and personal property. Along with evaluating your
estate, consider what is most important to you in an estate plan. For some people,
avoiding probate is a priority allowing loved ones to have access to the estate assets as
soon as possible. Other people may focus more on simply providing lost income or focus
on incapacity planning.

Once priorities and assets have been evaluated, a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is
generally the next step. A Will can be as simple, or as complicated, as you make it. A
Will not only serves as instructions for how your assets are to be divided, but can also
indicate who you want as guardian for your children.

The avoidance of probate is often high on the estate planning priority list. Along with
executing a will, you may wish to consider titling property jointly to help avoid probate.
Both real property and accounts can often be titled in this manner allowing the property
to pass directly to the joint owner upon your death.

An often overlooked aspect of estate planning involves incapacity planning. In the event
you become unable to make decisions for yourself, an advance directive for healthcare
can appoint someone to make those decisions for you. An advance directive can also
specify what medical procedures or measures you authorize ahead of time.

Estate planning can be considerably more complicated than the basics; however, by
developing a plan that includes at least the basics you can protect both yourself and your
loved ones in the event of your death or incapacity.

Experienced estate planning attorneys Atlanta GA of the Pyke & Associates P.C. offers
estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Atlanta GA. To learn
more about these free resources, please visit today.

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