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Q
What is the first step in estate planning?

A

When contemplating estate planning in Georgia, there are many things that you will need to consider; however, the first part of the process is to determine how much your estate is worth. While you may think you know the value of your estate, you need to revaluate it in order to know the gross value of your estate. The reason this is important is that you need to know what your estate is before you can plan to distribute your assets to your heirs.

It is important that you add up your assets as well as liabilities in order to get a clear picture of the value of your estate. Some of your assets could include:

  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and CDs
  • Checking accounts and cash
  • 401(k), IRA, and other savings accounts
  • Annuities
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Life insurance
  • Business interests
  • Jewelry
  • Valuables
  • Antiques and household furniture
  • Tools

Add up all the items and subtract the negative balances such as any outstanding balances from cars, mortgages, and credit cards. The combined value of your assets minus your liabilities, debts, and taxes should give you the estate’s value. However, if you own a business, calculating the value of your estate will be more complicated, and a skilled Peachtree City estate planning lawyer can help.

For assistance, call the Law Offices of Shane Smith to speak with an experienced Georgia estate planning attorney today at 770.487.8999.