It's a common question we often encounter at Peach State Wills & Trusts: "Do I need a will even if I don't own much?" If you're a parent of a minor child, the answer is a resounding yes. A will is not just about the distribution of your property; it's a crucial tool to ensure your children will be taken care of, no matter your asset size.
Just like an insurance policy, a well-drafted will is part of a proactive approach to securing your family's future. Consider three key documents to lay the foundation for your estate plan: a will, an Advance Directive for Health Care, and a Durable Power of Attorney.
Understanding the Role of a Will in Estate Planning
A will's primary purpose is to distribute your assets at the time of your death. But importantly, if you have minor children or young adult children, you should name a guardian in the will. This person is responsible for raising your children into adulthood. For those under 18, and sometimes for those above but still in the early stages of adulthood, you can appoint a trustee to manage their assets. This way, you can ensure that your children are raised, complete their education, develop a work ethic, and learn the value of a dollar before they inherit any assets. The result? An inheritance that becomes a blessing, not a curse, made possible through your will.
Other Essential Documents: Advance Directive for Health Care and Durable Power of Attorney
The Advance Directive for Health Care is a Georgia-specific document combining a Living Will and a Power of Attorney for Health Care. This allows you to appoint a healthcare agent who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you can't. It also outlines how you want to be treated under certain circumstances.
The Durable Power of Attorney enables you to nominate someone to manage your affairs and finances for you, either for convenience or if you become incapacitated and unable to do so yourself. These three documents— a will, the Advance Directive for Health Care, and the Durable General Power of Attorney— form the foundation of estate planning for most people in Georgia.
Ensuring the Right People for the Roles of Guardian and Trustee
Nominating Guardians is a part of the process that often confuses people. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. By working with an experienced estate planning lawyer, such as our team at Peach State Wills & Trusts, you will understand how to identify the right individuals for the job of guardian and trustee. With our guidance, you can put your estate plan in place and rest comfortably.
Get Your Estate Planning Questions Answered with Peach State Wills & Trusts
In conclusion, if you're a parent in Georgia, regardless of the size of your assets, the answer is yes—you need a will. Not just to distribute assets when you die, but to ensure that the right people will be raising your children into adulthood and managing any assets left for their care, well-being, education, and support.
Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts at 678-344-5342 to learn how to plan for your family's future in Georgia today. If you have any questions about estate planning in Georgia, you can download our free guide here, no strings attached.