Your assets- your plan or someone else’s? 
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

If the distribution of your property is important to you, you can use a will or a trust to give instructions about who gets what when you die.  If you die without a properly executed estate plan, state law will determine how the probate court will divide and distribute the things you own.  Of course, the state of Georgia’s estate plan won’t take your particular wishes into account. 

James Miskell, Attorney at Law

Another year, another opportunity
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

It’s that time of year again. Yes, it is New Year’s resolution time. Was estate planning one of your unfulfilled resolutions for 2014?  Is it on your “to-do” list for 2015?  Take the opportunity to get it done this year.

We all know that an estate plan is a matter of personal responsibility. Only you understand your family’s priorities well enough to make the proper decisions.  Legal and financial professionals are essential to understanding the best strategies, but the final decisions about what is right for your family can only be made by you. 

Plan now to reduce uncertainty
"Wheter your estate is large or small, planning ahead lets you contol cost"
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

“Trick or treat” rings out every Halloween as kids go door to door hoping for their favorite candy. My kids love sorting the candy at the end of the night and finding surprises in their candy haul. Part of the fun and excitement of trick or treating is the uncertainty —you don’t know what you are going to get. Dying without estate planning is a lot like trick or treat for your surviving family members—you don’t know what they are going to get.

Planning for family members with special needs
"We must let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” ~ Joseph Campbell
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

Making sure that a loved one with special needs has access to all the opportunities and services necessary for an enriching life can be costly and difficult to coordinate. 

Great! I’m a Trustee – Wait . . .  
I’m a Trustee?

"To be trusted is a greater compliement than being loved." 
                     ~ George MacDonald
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

Being appointed as trustee is a very real demonstration that you are seen to be trustworthy, that you have the judgment and ability to handle responsibility.  It is a great compliment - And make no mistake, being a trustee is also a great responsibility.  A trustee holds legal title to property for someone else – the beneficiary. 

Which do I need, a Will or a Trust?

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

While it can be difficult to confront your own demise, setting up an estate plan is important to ensure that your wishes are followed and your loved ones taken care of after your death. Your estate plan puts your last wishes, hopes, desires and choices down on paper, in black and white, for all to see. The words on the paper speak for you when you cannot.