Building Truly Comprehensive Estate Plans

When most people think of estate planning, they think of wills. While a will is, indeed, an integral part of an estate plan, a will is only one of many documents included in a truly comprehensive plan. At the law firm of Eugene W. Dabbs IV, our goal is to preserve your assets and ensure that the distribution of those assets meets your expectations. In order to reach our goal, we push our clients to create estate plans that address every possible scenario.

Which Estate-Planning Documents Do You Need?

Estate plans are as unique as the individuals who create them. However, all Georgia residents should build their estate plans on the same foundation. This foundation consists of three documents:

  • Will: A will is a cornerstone of a solid estate plan. This document allows an individual to designate to whom assets will go after death. While this sounds simple, it is easy to forget assets or underestimate their values, making the assistance of an attorney beneficial as you create a will. Additionally, the involvement of a lawyer can ensure your will's validity and prevent disputes among beneficiaries.
  • General power of attorney: A general power of attorney designates an individual to take control of financial and legal matters in the event of your incapacitation. While many believe such a document is only necessary for older Georgia residents, this is simply not the case. All individuals, regardless of age, should have general powers of attorney in place in case of motor vehicle accidents or other unexpected incidents.
  • Advance directives: An advance directive outlines an individual's wishes concerning his or her own health care. Again, this document is important for everyone, regardless of age, as unexpected health care issues can arise at any time.

It is important to understand that these three documents are only the foundation of a complete plan. For most individuals, a truly comprehensive estate plan will include much more, such as trusts and long-term care and Medicaid planning.

Updating: The Forgotten Part Of Estate Planning

Just as many people think of wills as the only documents needed for estate planning, many incorrectly believe that the creation of estate plans is the end of estate planning. This belief is far from accurate.

For the continued relevance of estate plans, regular updates are necessary. Obviously, major life events, such as divorce, the birth of a child or the death of a beneficiary, require updates. However, events that may seem insignificant may also require updates in order for the continued effectiveness of estate plans.

Get The Answers To Your Estate-Planning Questions

Estate planning is a complex undertaking, which is why so many Spalding County residents turn to the law firm of Eugene W. Dabbs IV for assistance. By calling 770-450-1583 or sending an email to our Griffin law office, you can schedule an initial consultation with our attorney. During this consultation you can get clear, concise answers to all of your estate-planning questions.