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.

Unequal inheritances and no-contest clauses 
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

If a man dies and leaves his estate in an uncertain condition, the lawyers become his heirs.  Edgar Watson 

When people think about dividing their assets among their loved ones when they die, they very often take for granted that anything that they leave as an inheritance will be divided equally among their children.  While this makes sense, it is not the right result in all situations.  Estate planning is personal to each family’s situation and the disposition of the estate should reflect the wishes of the giver--whether anyone inside or outside the family would agree.

Estate Planning should include End of Life Planning 
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

Nobody relishes the task of making out a will. Squarely addressing the prospect of your own mortality can be upsetting. Sitting down to prepare a Last Will and Testament is not at the top of anyone’s “this is a fun thing to do" list.

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

“Just like the state, if you don’t have a plan in writing, the IRA has a plan for you”

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. So, most people prefer to put their own plan into place.

Estate planning “to-do list”
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

“For many of us, the task of putting together an estate plan is one of those “to-do’s that never seems to get done.”

It’s that time of year again. Yes, it is New Year’s resolution time. Is estate planning one of your “resolutions” for 2014?

Plan now to ease their burden when you are gone 
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

“Studies show that over half of
Americans do not have a will”

One of the best reasons folks engage in estate planning is to ease the burdens surviving family members will carry in the event of our death.  Any of us who have lost a loved one know that it is a difficult time - full of emotion and sorrow.