June 2013 Archives

How will DOMA ruling affect same-sex estate planning in Georgia?

The most recent U.S. Supreme Court term included several important cases, but the two cases dealing with same-sex marriage certainly received the most attention. Currently, Georgia state law doesn't recognize marriage for same-sex couples -- and the recent rulings did not change that. However, now that a major component of the federal Defense of Marriage Act was struck down, many couples are dealing with complex differences between federal and state law. These laws, of course, impact estate planning.

Psychiatric advance directives provide focus on mental health care, P.2

In a previous post, we began speaking about psychiatric advance directives, which are documents outlining the preferences of mental health patients in terms of medical care. These documents, now in use in various states, give those with mental health conditions the opportunity to better control how they are cared for in times of crisis, when they are no longer competent to make decisions.

Dispute involving estate of copper a reminder of cost of estate disputes

Some time ago, we wrote about the estate of the late copper heiress Huguette Clark, whose estate became a point of contention between the public administrator in charge of winding down the estate and her caretakers, who were accused of taking advantage of Clark in her old age. Clark’s $300 million estate is still now being disputed, because of two wills signed six years before her death in 2011.

Psychiatric advance directives provide focus on mental health care, P.1

Our Georgia readers may have heard of advance health care directives and of their importance in helping to avoid confusion and disagreement over medical decision-making. Think of Terri Schiavo and similar incidents. Among those who know about advance directives, there is a tendency to think of these important documents as useful tools for competent adults who want to identify their wishes for end-of-life care in the event they undergo an acute injury or degenerative illness that ultimately leaves them incapacitated. And, indeed, this is a fairly accurate concept of what advance directives can do.

Basic estate planning can benefit everybody, P.2

In a previous post, we began discussing the importance of estate planning, noting that everyone can benefit from at least some basic estate planning. Basic estate planning can include a number of aspects, but it commonly includes setting up a will and a trust, as well as an advance healthcare directive and possibly a power of attorney. More can be done, of course, depending on the needs of the individual and his or her family and financial situation.

Avoiding conflict in caring for a declining parent

Transitioning to a position of more dependency on children can be a difficult thing for parents, especially those who pride themselves on their independence. The transition can be difficult not only on a personal level, but also on a family as a whole, particularly when there are disagreements about how to handle the transition as a family.

Basic estate planning can benefit everybody, P.1

Estate planning is not only for the rich, for those whose assets exceed the estate tax threshold. Almost everybody can benefit from some amount of estate planning. The simple reason is that, without specifying your wishes for your property, guardians for your children, your health care goals, and other basic matters, somebody else will decide for you, whether a state law, or a judge or a family member. What other people decide for you in these matters is probably not going to be what you want.  Better to specify your wishes when you are able to do so.

Revocable trusts may be wise in estate planning for spouses

Couples looking to protect their assets for the surviving spouse may be wise to work with an estate planning attorney. While some may feel they are aptly covered simply by the fact that they are married or have a written document in place the fact is that any property held in one spouse's name alone often isn't enough. If the deceased spouse owned property in his or her own name, his or her will bequeathed it to his or her trust, but such post-death funding of a trust requires a probate proceeding.

Mr. Teiger, Thank you very much for your time and results. I will definitely recommend you & your firm to anyone who wants to be treated professionally courteously and needs results.Hope all is well.Again...thank you. Regards, Paul L.

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