At Mason Law Group, we focus on estate planning and elder law, business and corporate law, commercial and residential lease contracts, collections and related practice areas. Our geographic focus includes the Atlanta, Georgia metro, cities and counties throughout Georgia. We help clients plan for the future, preserve their wealth against the high cost of long-term care and onerous estate taxes, provide for the future of their loved ones, and leave a lasting legacy.
Estate planning is the initial conversation with a clients’ first session with a Georgia elder law attorney. During a client’s lifetime they have amassed savings and assets with little concern for themselves with the planning and the administration of those assets until they near retirement.
Estate planning is a lifelong task for responsible families. An attentive Georgia elder law attorney understands that proper estate planning should be addressed as early as possible. In the years close to retirement, estate planning provides the peace of mind that a strong plan is in place to protect your family and the reason that accompanies knowing precisely why your planning will have lasting benefits.
Effective estate planning isn’t static or mass-produced. It is a process that is unique to each individual and influenced by the entire family’s evolving needs. Each home purchase, new family member, educational endeavor—every life change that affects your family’s structure, balance sheet, or future needs—should be integrated into a dynamic, holistic estate plan.
The most basic of estate plans drafted by your Georgia elder law attorney should include a Last Will and Testament, designed to ensure that the estate you’ve worked so hard to build stays in the hands of those you’ve loved and designated to enjoy it, rather than being chipped away by taxes or family litigation. Your Will also addresses guardianship and future care of any minor children.
Additionally, a proper estate plan establishes a durable power of attorney (POA). The individual named as “attorney-in-fact” by this document receives the authority to act in your best interests in the event that you become incapacitated. Again, it can’t be overstated that this is something that isn’t age-specific. A durable power of attorney can prevent unnecessary pain or conflict in your family, which is something you’re interested in, regardless of your age.
In addition to the POA, a properly planned estate includes a Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care, which is a designation of someone to make general medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot speak for yourself, as well as a Living Will to address specific medical situations. Medical problems are often fraught with uncertainty; taking the time now, while all parties can assess their options objectively, can ensure that your wishes are honored.
The establishment and management of Trusts should also be addressed by a comprehensive estate plan. Trusts are complex legal/financial instruments, generally used to protect assets, minimize tax burdens, and keep your estate out of probate (which can delay your family’s access to funds). Trusts are, essentially, documents that establish who is responsible for disbursement of your funds and how you’d like them managed. Trusts are commonly set aside for spouses, children, other family members, and charitable organizations; however, Mason Law Group has the expertise to establish a trust tailored to meet your specific needs.
Each issue that falls under the umbrella of estate planning is rife with complexity, but solutions can be customized to fit your unique story with a small investment of time and effort. Take the time now to ensure that your story gets written the way you’ve dreamed it, rather than leaving it to chance and other people, who may not know your heart.
For additional information on why to have a will, please click here.
Paulding County airport agreement riles opponents
Paulding County’s board of commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to give the county airport authority guaranteed revenue for ten years and an additional 163 acres, to the chagrin of those who oppose the county efforts to bring in commercial flights.