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Maintaining the Best Assets in Your Estate to Protect You During Difficult Times

For this reason, it's important to carefully inventory all of the assets in your estate that you fully own. This information can prove very useful should you ever lose your job and have to live on all of your savings until they run out. Furthermore, you’ll be able to learn which assets can be most easily reached by impatient creditors.

            The next time you meet with your Peachtree City estate planning attorney, be sure to ask how your particular state taxes your personal and business income. Also, ask how the federal government views various possessions for tax purposes. This knowledge can help you better understand your financial net worth in case hard times come – or if you ever need to file for any form of bankruptcy.

Types of Assets You'll Need to Be Sure Are Held in Proper Legal Form Before Hard Times

  • Your homestead rights. Be sure you’ve done all you can to properly protect your homestead. Although this is normally the place where you live throughout the year, some states allow you to designate a vacation (or other) home instead of where you normally live on a regular basis with your family;
  • Liquid assets/cash.  Few people ever need truly large sums of cash to meet unexpected expenses. However, it's important to know that many financial advisors claim you should try to keep enough liquid assets available to live on for about six months.  Even so, it’s usually best to never keep more than $500,000 in all retirement accounts combined;
  • Necessary household goods. You can usually exempt up to $12,000 in current value of furniture and other household goods(from creditors) should you go deep into debt;
  • Basic assets required to keep your business functioning. You’re often allowed to keep various types of books, tools, supplies and equipment you’ll need to keep your business running while you try to fully support yourself and your family;
  • Proper trust accounts should you be disabled and want to keep most or all of your disability benefits. Ask how much you can count on keeping – free of any wage garnishments -- should hard times descend upon you. (If you’re already receiving Social Security benefits simply due to your age – or expect to start receiving them soon – you should also inquire what percentage of these benefits you can depend upon keeping, should you start falling deeper into debt;
  • Any funds regularly received for child-support or alimony. Obviously, until your child reaches 18, child support payments should remain fully available to help you support your child. As for alimony payments, those normally continue until you remarry – or until some other point in time set forth in your divorce decree;
  • Any regular payment you receive as the beneficiary of a trust.

 

To obtain help with satisfying all of your Georgia estate planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia