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How to Avoid Doing Your Heirs a Disservice When Estate Planning in Georgia

If you are considering estate planning in Georgia, you are doing yourself and your family a service. However, many people often think that they only have to create a will. Conversely, others assume that all they need to do is draft a revocable living trust. The problem with both of these situations is that even after going through all of the work to create one of these legal documents, having just one of these documents may be doing your beneficiaries a disservice.

Why You Still Need a Trust and a Will When Estate Planning in Georgia

If you are one of the people who decided to create a trust without a will, you most likely feel that you don’t need to make a will because the trust serves the same purpose as a will. Plus, you may have heard that having a trust is better—property left through a trust does not have to go through probate upon your death. While this is true and will save your heirs a large amount of time and money avoiding probate, having a trust alone may not be an advantage over creating a will. You really should create both a trust and a will, and here are two reasons why:

  1. There May Be Things Missing from Your Revocable Living Trust. A trust rarely includes every single thing a person owns. Although a trust is great to avoid probate, it will only cover the property that has been transferred in writing to that trust. Hardly anyone transfers everything they own to a trust, or they forget to update it when new property is acquired. For this reason, it is critical to also have a last will and testament.
  2. A Will Can Do Some Things that a Trust Can’t Do. A last will and testament can cancel any debts owed to you and appoint a guardian for minor children—things that aren’t done in a trust.

If you have created a trust, then all you should need is a bare-bones will in addition to your trust. For any property you haven’t transferred to your trust, make sure that you list who should receive that property in your will. When creating both a will and trust, an experienced estate-planning attorney can help you so that you can ensure you are creating the right documents for your specific situation.

For your Georgia estate-planning needs, call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999 to speak with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate-planning lawyer to learn more today, and make sure you are doing a service, rather than a disservice, to your family.