Wills and Trusts
Having an estate plan in place is extremely important. At the law office of Ronald E. Dobelstein, P.C., we offer a full range of estate-planning instruments and services for individuals and families interested in preserving their own, or their parents' assets.
With the proper combination of documents, including a will, trust, and other items, you can ensure:
- Your estate will avoid Probate;
- Your assets will be distributed to whom you wish;
- You have control of your health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated;
- Your minor children will be cared for by the persons you choose.
A will is a document that details the distribution of your property after your death. In a Will, an individual can make specific devises and bequests of personal or real property, or can make general arrangements for other people or institutions. You can also appoint executors and alternates, guardians for the children, create testamentary trusts and make arrangements for a simultaneous death or other eventualities.
The single most important feature of the Will is to appoint a guardian for your children.
In Georgia, a Will is admissible in court without additional testimony. Because the formalities are adhered to, the court is satisfied that at the time the Will was signed, the statutory prerequisites for admissibility have been complied with. This is a routine practice in the office of Ron Dobelstein.TAX BENEFITS AND AVOIDING THE DEATH TAX
Having a properly executed will and trust can also drastically decrease the amount of money your family will spend in taxes upon your death. You can decrease or even reduce the tax burden to zero with the right documentation.FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Financial Power of Attorney is put into place in the event you are not able to exercise your financial powers with regard to checking, savings or other miscellaneous items. A Financial Power of Attorney is prepared in order to cover as many situations as possible. Although a general power of attorney is not acceptable for every transaction, it is helpful to have available to a trusted individual to operate your financial matters if you are not able.GEORGIA ADVANCE DIRECTIVE FOR HEALTHCARE
The Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care is a combination of a Living will, a Healthcare Surrogate, a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and/or a Medical Power of Attorney.
These forms have been combined into one Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care.
In this document you will appoint somebody to make healthcare decisions for you, give specific instructions to your healthcare agent and limit or give specific instructions to a healthcare institution where you may be in a condition where you cannot make healthcare decisions.
In this document, you can also appoint a guardian if you become incompetent and can make other specific instructions such as burial instructions or organ donors and the like.DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTHCARE
The Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is now incorporated into the Georgia Advanced Healthcare Directive, so that someone you choose, not someone chosen by a Judge of the Superior Court, can make medical decisions for you if you cannot make those decisions for yourself.LIVING WILL
The Living Will is now incorporated into the Georgia Advanced Healthcare Directive.TRUSTS
Trusts can be created preferably to hold assets and avoid probate, or can be testamentary and not come into existence until the time of death. They can be revocable or irrevocable and can be used to satisfy a variety of needs.
There are many kinds of trusts. The central feature is that property is given to one person to hold and manage and invest for the benefit of another. The person who holds the property is called a trustee. The trustee may be an individual or a bank trust department or trust company. The banks and trust companies usually get paid for their services. There can be one or several trustees. The person or persons for whom the property is held are called the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the trust.
Trustees can be given wide powers by the terms of the trust. If not, their powers are more restricted by statute.
A trust commonly contains directions as to who gets the income and whether or not that person can get principal and when. After a fixed or measurable period of time or on that person's death, the trust usually provides that someone else then gets the income interest or that the trust is to terminate. On termination the trust specifies who get the trust assets.
Any type of property can be held in trust, but most trust assets consist of income producing property such as stocks, bonds, CDs and rental real estate. The trustee's duty and objective usually is to hold property producing income and to preserve the value of that property.
A person can create a trust while he or she is living (Living Trust), or in his or her will (Testamentary Trust). A person can also be trustee of a trust he or she creates. The person who creates a trust can also be a beneficiary of the trust as well as the trustee.REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST
The most important reason to have a revocable living trust in California is to avoid probate. Whether or not you have a will, your estate will go through probate. During this process the State of California will decide who will get everything you have worked your entire life to earn. Trusts do not require probate or probate proceedings and thereby avoid the expense and inconvenience associated with it.
Your trust is also important to avoid conservatorship proceedings if you should become incompetent before your death. About 50% of people become incompetent before they die. Your trust allows you, not a court, to choose who will be in charge of your assets if you become very ill or incompetent.POUR OVER WILL
When you have a Trust you also have a very special kind of Will. It will determine who will care for your minor children, what you want your burial and funeral arrangements to be, and will protect you if you forget to put anything into the name of your Trust.SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST
You can create a Special Needs Trust or one can be created as part of your Last Will and Testament.