Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Georgia
Northwest Georgia Regional Commission * PO Box 1798 * Rome, GA * 30162-1798
Voice: (706) 802-5506 or 1-800-759-2963
Fax: (706) 802-5508
The Gateway to Community Resources in Northwest Georgia
It can be difficult to face our own mortality. I can’t think of anyone, including myself, who enjoys the thought of passing away.
But it’s not just the finality of not being able to see my loved ones that make me not want to think about it. There’s also the confusion and work that I know I will need to put into the process of planning for my own death. What does planning for your own death mean?
Well, we all accumulate a certain degree of assets throughout our lives. And you might understand that, absent the process of having a will properly drafted, your assets will just pass along to the important people in your lives without any hassles. The truth is, based on the way states consider asset distribution, your own wishes are unlikely to be the ones that are fulfilled if you do not have a will that directs those assets exactly where you want them to go.
States have in place probate laws that use family relationship trees as a basis for which to distribute assets upon death. This is so that, when someone dies without a will, states are not held up interminably waiting for resolution. The states find it more expedient to have an objective set of regulations that can be followed in wrapping up in the state.
The only problem with this is that, in surveys that have been conducted, 80 to 90% of those who have assets would do something completely different with distribution than what the state probate laws mandate. And the only way to impose your will upon the process is to have a lawyer in Spartanburg, SC write up a will based on your explicit instructions, ready to file with the court in case you are to die.
And you can be as specific as you wish with your will. For example, many people choose to leave significant assets to family members with particular special needs to address. It could be that one of your children has a disability or other medical condition that requires an inordinate amount of assets to deal with on a daily basis. Or perhaps, you have a grandchild in a similar position and would like to leave an extra amount of money to their parents and/or set up a medically advantageous trust to distribute the money with some tax advantages over that child’s life.
Of course, these are just examples. A qualified attorney who can do wills and estate planning is worth their weight in gold in giving you advice about what your options are and helping you consider all of the family nuances that have to be taken into account.