As a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the past few months have completely changed people’s way of living. Safety and preventative measures such as the shelter-in-place and social distancing orders have made a tremendous impact on everyone’s life. COVID-19 has evidently caused worry and concern for many and it has certainly made an impact on everyone’s health and finances.
Even with a pandemic in full-swing, people do not like to think about their own mortality. Nonetheless, this current health crisis is an unpleasant reminder of the importance of being prepared. In effort of protecting yourself and the interests of your loved ones, now is the opportune time to focus on your important affairs and work on an estate plan.
Generally, every person should work toward having the following essential documents:
Power of attorney documents enable a third party, often referred to as an agent, to act on behalf of another regarding financial matters. An agent can assist that individual with his or her real estate transactions, filing for taxes, banking, government benefits, as well as a myriad of other legal decisions.
An individual who seeks to create a power of attorney can tailor the role to be as narrow or as broad as he or she desires. Moreover, the principal can also choose when the document will go into effect, which can be set immediately, on a specific date, or under certain circumstances, such as a grave illness or disability.
In the event that a person does not have a power of attorney set in place and he or she has become incapacitated, a judge will need to appoint a conservator on his or her behalf to make decisions on that person’s assets.
Advance health care directives are often times referred to as health care proxies or living wills. These is a form of estate planning, where a person will list his or her medical preferences. These preferences can include medical treatments, testing, placement and as well as other health care options.
Advance health care directives places hospitals and doctors on notice when an injured or disabled person is unable to express medical decisions for his or herself. Having this form will authorize a health care agent to make medical decisions that have been previously specified and to help ensure that the necessary health care is received.
Last Will and Testaments are legal documents where instructions are placed about the disposition of the testator’s or known as the maker of the Will assets as well as the guardianship and/or conservatorship of his or her children. The appointed Executor of the Last Will and Testament will work to ensure that the testator’s assets are rightfully passed on to the estate beneficiaries in accordance with the instructions in the Will and will also ensure all other administrative tasks are completed in accordance with the probate laws.
In the State of Georgia, if a person passes away without having a Will in place, this person is considered to have passed away Intestate and state law will dictate which parties will inherit the assets and the percentage each beneficiary will be entitled to in accordance with Intestate Laws. Moreover, the courts may have to make a decision as to who will get custody of the minor children and address other family law issues.
The novel Coronavirus pandemic has left many people concerned about what will happen to their family in the event of their sudden passing. Estate planning can bring peace of mind for many, as it will ensure that you have made arrangements for loved ones. Although a majority of states across the nation, including the State of Georgia, have specific requirements to properly execute estate planning documents; an experienced attorney can assure it is properly drafted and executed in accordance with the Probate Laws. If you have any questions with respect to estate planning, schedule a consultation with an attorney who can help you understand the process and your family needs.
We are currently preparing and executing all documents virtually in order to preserve the safety of our clients.
The estate planning attorneys at Atlanta Estate Attorneys continue to help clients during this difficult time. When you need help with estate planning, it is important to obtain the legal support of a law firm you can trust. The attorneys at Atlanta Estate Attorneys have the strong reputation of being a compassionate law firm and work with their clients to fulfill their objectives. If you are seeking to begin your estate planning or have questions about an existing document, speak to a law firm who has a strong reputation and many years of dedicated experience in the field. Speak to the attorneys at Atlanta Estate Attorneys today by calling (404) 584-5555 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.