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The benefits of an estate plan

According to a recent survey from Caring.com, 78 percent of millennials don't have a will. However, estate planning professionals say that people in Georgia and throughout the country should have one regardless of their circumstances. By creating a will, an individual gets to determine how assets will be distributed after he or she passes. Furthermore, that person can appoint someone to oversee the estate as opposed to the state doing so.

For those who are single and have no children, their assets are generally transferred to their parents. With a will, parents get those assets in a streamlined fashion. Exceptions will be made for assets like bank accounts that are held jointly or have been designated for another beneficiary. Another benefit of an estate plan is the ability of an individual to determine the type of treatment given if mental incapacitation becomes an issue.

Those who don't have clear instructions will likely be kept alive whether they would have wanted to or not. Digital assets could also be put at risk without an estate plan. Both Facebook and Google allow individuals to designate legacy contacts to manage their accounts after passing. Most states now have laws pertaining to digital assets and how an executor may handle them after the asset's owner dies.

The use of wills and trusts can make it easier to control and protect assets while alive and after passing on. An attorney could help a client craft an estate plan that meets their needs. In some cases, an attorney will only be needed to craft a specific document or review a plan that already exists. In other cases, legal counsel can make recommendations and develop an entire strategy.

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