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Probate Attorneys in Atlanta and Metro Area

If you leave your assets to your loved ones with a will, everything you own is going to pass through probate. The probate process is expensive, takes a lot of time, and is on public record. If you plan ahead properly, your assets can pass on to your loved ones without going through probate, in a manner that is faster, less expensive, and completely private.

The probate court, with a judge who does not know you and does not know your family, stays in control of the process until the estate has been completely settled and distributed. If you are married and have children, you want to make certain your surviving family has immediate access to cash to pay for living expenses while your estate is being settled. It is not uncommon for the probate court to freeze your assets for weeks or even months while your executor is working to make the proper disposition of your estate. Your surviving spouse may be forced to apply to the probate court for support to get access to cash needed to pay the family’s current living expenses.

Designating A Guardian For Medical Care

If you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own financial affairs, you might mistakenly think, as a lot of folks do, your spouse or adult children can automatically step in and take over for you in handling your personal and medical care. The shocking truth is that for others to be able to manage your care, they have to first petition the probate court to have you declared legally incompetent and appoint a guardian to manage your personal care. If you are incapacitated, you should create a plan for your medical care. Read more about the basics of an Advance Directive for Healthcare here.

How do I name a guardian for my children?

This is one of the questions that our estate planning attorneys receive most frequently. In most cases, parents are, by law, the people who can make decisions about their children. However, in the event that this right is taken away or parents pass away, the question arises of who can/will step in. This is the moment when a will or living will comes into effect. In these documents, a legal guardian can be named to take care of the minor children. If these documents are not created or not valid then the court will take on the responsibility of appointing a guardian.