Estate Planning for Alpharetta Residents
Plan for peace of mind now and in the future. Let our estate planning attorneys help you take care of your loved ones in the worst-case scenario. Schedule an appointment today.
Estate Planning Preserves Your Legacy
At Emert & Yeom, we understand that estate planning can seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be with the right guidance. Our estate planning attorneys have been assisting local families in Alpharetta for years. We provide caring, experienced support so you can create a plan that secures your legacy.
With customized solutions informed by your unique goals and circumstances, we help craft estate plans that work for you. Our attorneys listen and take the time to understand what matters most so your plan aligns with your values. Emert & Yeom stands behind its core principles of integrity, excellence, and compassion.
What Does an Estate Plan Include?
A complete estate plan accounts for your wishes, family dynamics, assets, and intentions for the future. It may incorporate:
Legal documents directing the distribution of your possessions upon death. Details guardianship preferences for minor children.
Establish control and protection over assets while alive and after death. Avoid probate.
Transfer specific accounts/assets to named beneficiaries upon death.
Powers of Attorney
Authorize someone to handle finances/healthcare if you’re incapacitated.
Outline wishes for medical treatment end-of-life or if unable to decide.
Estate Tax Strategies
Tools to reduce state/federal estate tax obligations.
No matter your stage of life or asset level, having an estate plan in place avoids risks and uncertainty when you’re gone. Emert & Yeom attorneys create comprehensive plans tailored to your situation.
Crafting Custom Wills
A legally valid will is the most fundamental component of an estate plan. A will provide instructions on how assets and possessions should be distributed after death. They also name guardians for minor children.
Without a will in Georgia, your estate is subject to state intestacy laws. This could result in outcomes misaligned from your wishes like:
- Assets going to distant relatives rather than immediate family.
- Courts appointing guardians for children against your preferences.
- Infighting among family members over your estate.
Custom-drafted wills prevent unwanted scenarios and provide peace of mind knowing your final wishes are legally binding. The key will provisions may include:
This is the person responsible for carrying out your will’s instructions. Usually a spouse or trusted family member or friend.
How possessions like homes, vehicles, valuables, and personal effects should be distributed.
Assets like investments, retirement accounts, and proceeds gifted to heirs.
Individuals designated to care for minor children in your absence.
Trusts can be set up under your will if desired.
Donations to causes aligned with your values.
Emert & Yeom leverages decades of combined experience to craft ironclad wills customized for your family and assets.
Trusts and Your Estate Plan
While a will takes effect at death, trusts are estate planning tools that provide benefits during life. Trusts control how assets are managed and distributed through provisions set by the grantor. Common reasons Alpharetta families choose to establish trusts include:
Assets placed in trusts don’t pass through probate after death. This saves time and expenses.
Certain trusts are designed to shelter assets from estate taxes.
Protection from Creditors
Trust assets are generally protected if you face lawsuits or bankruptcy.
Provisions prevent heirs from squandering their inheritance. Assets can be structured to be distributed over time.
Caring for Pets
Pet trusts provide funds to care for your animals if you pass away before they do.
Trusts aren’t public like probated wills. Terms and assets remain private.
Emert & Yeom attorneys have the expertise required to determine if trusts should play a role in your estate plan based on your goals and financial picture. We can then craft tailored trusts providing protection for you and your heirs.
Appointing Powers of Attorney
As we age, the potential for cognitive decline or disability increases. Powers of attorney allow you to authorize someone you trust to handle affairs on your behalf if this occurs. This spares your family the time, cost, and stress of court intervention. Emert & Yeom attorneys can help establish:
Financial Power of Attorney
Grants agent control over finances like banking, investments, real estate, and more if you’re incapacitated.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
Allows your appointee to make medical decisions consistent with your wishes if you’re unable.
Powers of attorney provide vital peace of mind knowing you’ll still be cared for later in life. We’ll ensure your documents comply with Georgia laws while granting proper authority to your agents.
Advance healthcare directives outline your preferences for end-of-life medical treatment in the event you cannot decide for yourself. This information guides doctors and loved ones who may have to make difficult decisions during incapacity or terminal illness.
Key directives include:
Outlines if you want interventions like resuscitation, ventilators, feeding tubes, and more. Specifies what measures you don’t want.
Grants your appointed healthcare agent access to medical history and records to inform decisions.
With clear legal guidance in place, your healthcare agents can ensure you receive the level of care you desire. Emert & Yeom attorneys thoughtfully discuss your values and priorities so they’re captured in compliant Georgia directives.
Your named beneficiaries on assets like life insurance, retirement accounts, and brokerage accounts dictate who will inherit those assets upon your passing. It’s critical beneficiaries are kept updated to avoid wrong heirs inheriting or assets going to probate. Here are some key considerations when designating beneficiaries:
Name primary and contingent beneficiaries
Primary beneficiaries inherit first, then contingent if the primary beneficiary is deceased.
Avoid naming minor children
Name a guardian to manage assets on the children’s behalf until adulthood.
Consider naming a trust
A trust provides control over how beneficiaries use their inheritance.
Update after major life events
Review regularly and update beneficiaries after milestones like marriage, divorce, or new family members.
The attorneys at Emert & Yeom will ensure your beneficiaries align with the intentions expressed in your will and overall estate plan. This harmony minimizes the potential for disputes or assets going to unintended heirs.
Estate Tax Planning Strategies
If your net worth exceeds $12.06 million (2022), your estate will have a federal estate tax obligation of up to 40%. Georgia also imposes state estate taxes. Mitigating these taxes is crucial to maximizing your legacy.
Strategies our Alpharetta estate planning attorneys may employ include:
- Transferring assets into trusts
- Making yearly lifetime gifts up to IRS allowances
- Funding irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs)
- Establishing family limited partnerships (FLPs)
- Utilizing advanced valuation discounts
- Charitable trust donations
Emert & Yeom will utilize every compliant method possible to reduce estate taxes and maximize the assets your family inherits.
Risks of Not Having an Estate Plan
Failing to establish even a basic estate plan in Alpharetta puts your family and assets at risk in the event of your passing. Unfortunately, outcomes can include:
- Court deciding guardianship of minor children contrary to your wishes.
- Assets passing through lengthy probate, reducing the value beneficiaries receive.
- No control over how heirs use/spend their inheritance.
- Family disputes arising over ambiguous asset distribution.
- Loss of estate tax minimization strategies resulting in higher tax obligations.
- Healthcare preferences not being met during incapacitation.
Regardless of age or assets, having a proper estate plan avoids uncertainty and protects your legacy. The experienced attorneys at Emert & Yeom make the process smooth from start to finish.
Why Choose Emert & Yeom for Alpharetta Estate Planning?
With over 25 years of serving Alpharetta families, Emert & Yeom has the dedication and expertise required for customized estate planning. We take time to understand you, your family, and your goals before tailoring a plan solution. Benefits of choosing Emert & Yeom include:
- Local Experience
- Full Legal Guidance
- Custom Plans
Protecting wealth and securing family legacies is what drives us. Contact our office today to schedule an initial estate planning consultation with an Alpharetta attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I name as a beneficiary for accounts?
Most married couples name their spouse as the primary beneficiary and children as contingent beneficiaries. You can also name a trust. Avoid naming minor children who require appointing a guardian.
How often should estate plans be updated?
Ideally every 3-5 years. Major events like marriage, divorce, new children, retirement, moving, or changes in tax laws all warrant immediate updates. An estate planning attorney can advise if changes are needed.
What happens if I pass without an estate plan?
Dying without a plan means losing control. Your estate would enter probate and assets could be distributed based on state intestacy laws rather than your wishes. Not ideal.
Can I use an online service for estate planning?
It’s best to work with an attorney like Emert & Yeom, especially for complex planning. DIY documents may fail to account for state laws. Attorney guidance ensures compliance and customization.
Where should I keep my estate planning documents?
Keep original copies in a safe but accessible place known to your family or executor. Many attorneys also retain copies securely as an extra precaution against loss or destruction.
Our Service Area
While we are located in Duluth Georgia, we provide estate planning, real estate closings, and business law to clients from all around the metro Atlanta area including Buford, Suwanee, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, and more. Contact us today when you need an experienced attorney to help you with any of these matters.