When people in Georgia want to ensure that their properties and possessions will be distributed properly after death, estate planning is critical. Developing the necessary documents, including a will and relevant trusts, is important for protecting the financial future of one's heirs. There are a number of concerns to keep in mind while working through this process in order to ensure the best and most efficient outcomes.
During an estate planning process, different structures are often set up for leaving assets to minor children and adult children. For minors, it is routine to set up trusts in order to ensure that their best interests are protected until they become of age. However, there can also be important benefits of creating trusts for assets that are being left to adult children as well. Many adults do not have extensive financial knowledge and awareness, and setting up a trust can be an excellent way to ensure that the funds are professionally managed.
In addition, using a trust can help ensure that the assets are maintained for a longer period of time by managing how they are distributed. For example, a trust could dictate the distribution of investment income each year or a portion of the value of the principal. In addition, a trustee can be given discretion on distributions in cases where there is a reason to be concerned about a beneficiary's spending habits. The use of a trust to distribute assets prevents the beneficiaries' creditors from accessing the principal until it is distributed directly. Trusts also ensure that an inheritance is kept outside of the framework of a divorce settlement.
People who are considering their next steps can consult with an estate planning attorney. A lawyer can provide advice on the proper steps to take in order to ensure the best outcome for one's estate and protect the interests of the beneficiaries.