Why You Should Consider Working with a Special Need s Planning Attorney in Savannah

For parents with children with disabilities, whether minor or adult, it’s a good idea to take the extra step of meeting with a Savannah special needs planning attorney. This gives you the opportunity to set up the best possible scenario for your child if you are no longer able to provide care for him or her on your own.

For example, you will work with the special needs lawyer to determine how to set up funding for your child’s expenses after your death. You will also use the opportunity to name guardians for your child (again, whether a minor or an adult who needs assistance). You can also have a say in how the money will be used to care for your child.

By working with a special needs planning attorney in Savannah, you have access to someone who is experienced when it comes to what kinds of choices you need to make for your child. The lawyer can offer suggestions and advice on topics that you likely didn’t even know should be considered.

Because of expertise in multiple areas, this professional can also help you to understand how an inheritance might affect government assistance that your child is eligible to receive. Rather than risking your child’s income, it makes sense to work with a Savannah lawyer who is clear on the benefits available as well as how they can be affected under state law.

An area that many people don’t realize they need to consider is how to protect the child from debts or lawsuits. When the special needs planning lawyer helps you create the right kinds of trusts, they are also creating a way to protect your child’s money from others who might find a reason to go after it. Imagine what would happen if your child lost the money you left behind for his or her care. Instead of ending up in such a dire situation, your child needs to have income that can be depended upon for daily living, medical needs, etc.

An additional benefit of working with a special needs planning attorney is his or her ability to help you choose and educate the trustee. A qualified Savannah lawyer will be able to guide the person you’ve chosen when it comes to managing the assets of a trust left behind to care for your child with special needs. Your choice of trustee is an incredibly important one, as your child will rely on this person to make good decisions. The special needs planning lawyer will offer advice and guidance in how to select someone who is both savvy and trustworthy to fill this role.

Talking to Your Parents about Meeting with an Estate Planning Lawyer in Savannah

Just as everywhere else in the country, folks in Savannah often put off their estate planning for many reasons. Whether it’s facing your own mortality, or that of your parents, the prospect of needing a will or trust isn’t something that many of us want to think about. The reality, though, is that when we continue to put off the estate planning process, things only tend to get more complicated.

Considering a parent’s need for estate planning may not be a pleasant thought, but it is so very important in ensuring that they are taken care of. After all, it’s not just about what they will leave behind after death, it’s also about how those Golden Years can be spent. Estate planning lawyers in Savannah certainly handle wills and trusts, but they also help with planning for retirement, moves into retirement communities, and more.

It may be up to you to start this conversation with your aging parents, especially if they have not yet started their estate planning. But, how do you approach the “elephant in the room?” One of the best approaches is to have a good amount of information that you can bring to them about the benefits of planning. Sure, having their plans in order will make your life easier later, but it’s also about giving Mom and Dad a say in their own futures…and you want to make that known from the start.

Having Their Say

If your parents don’t take care of estate planning now, many choices will eventually be taken out of their hands. In some cases, a parent might think that’s fine because they trust you to make decisions, but what they might be overlooking is the fact that the courts may decide you are not the person that should be in charge of your parents’ well-being. Medical decisions and financial management are just a couple of the areas that could be designated to whomever the courts feel is appropriate. That person may not be you, and that person may not have your parents’ best interests at heart.

Let’s be honest, even though you love your parents, there are some choices you would really rather not have to make, too. By getting them in to meet with an estate planning lawyer, you can give them the opportunity to make the choices—in advance—that they might be unable to make later.

For example, a living will would give them the opportunity to determine what courses of action they do and do not want taken in a medical situation. It’s also completely reasonable for them to have a say in which nursing home or retirement community they would prefer. If these choices aren’t made in advance, there’s a possibility of losing the ability to make them later when physical or cognitive abilities have declined.

Woven in to all of these considerations is the fact that your parents will likely want to leave some sort of legacy. A legacy doesn’t have to be a multi-million dollar trust fund; in fact, it rarely is. Instead, the legacy could be a combination of important items, money, and a set of values that they want to pass on to future generations. A Savannah estate planning lawyer can help them find realistic ways to make this happen.

Business Planning Lawyers in Savannah Recommend Estate Planning

A small business is a part of your identity, not to mention your livelihood. Business planning lawyers in Savannah look to protect both aspects of this should you die or become incapacitated. Advanced planning is one of the smartest things that you can do to ensure that your small business meets the goals you have for it, whether you are at the helm or not.

• Make sure that your wishes are followed • Ease transition for the company • Protect the business from being dismantled • Save considerable money

When you think of your estate, you would probably include your home, your personal assets, and your bank accounts. But your small business is also considered as part of your estate, even though you likely don’t want it to be treated the same way as the other property already mentioned. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and a business planning lawyer is the perfect person to consult.

There are several things you’ll want to consider, and a Savannah business planning attorney can help you draw up documents that are legal and binding according to state laws. For example:

• Do you want the business to keep running after you pass away? • If so, who should be in charge? • What happens to your shares in a business? • Do partners need to buy your family out of the business or does ownership transfer to one of these parties?

You will also want to have your lawyer explain the various tax implications that come along with your different options. It’s not unusual for a small business to implode after an owner’s death, not because there was no one to take over, but because the estate taxes just take so much that there’s not enough left to continue operations.

Advanced planning for your business can help avoid this type of huge tax burden. Specific sections of the tax codes have been designed to assist with the transition of businesses by limiting the taxes on heirs’ stock or to pay estate taxes over the course of 15 years. These two seemingly small things can make the difference between keeping the doors open or shutting down.

To get the most out of the tax codes that have been put into effect for folks like you, there is nothing quite as helpful as meeting with a qualified business planning lawyer in Savannah. To schedule a free consultation, give our Savannah law firm a call at (912) 352-3999 and mention this article.

Working with a Probate Attorney in Savannah to Understand the Steps of the Process

Even if someone has a will in place, it’s still quite likely that his or her estate will need to be overseen by a good probate attorney in Savannah. These professionals understand the incredibly complex process that goes along with closing out someone’s estate after he or she has passed away. Those who have worked with an estate planning lawyer can sometimes avoid probate through the use of tools like revocable living trusts, but if you are in a situation where the estate in question needs to go through the legal process, it makes sense to get a qualified probate attorney on board.

One of the things the lawyer will do is to help you better understand the steps of the probate process in Georgia. Knowledge is power, and having a reasonable expectation of what to expect can make probate a little less intimidating.

While every situation is different, a typical probate process in Georgia will look something like this:

  1. The validation of the will. The will needs to be proven valid and filed at the country probate court.
  2. The court will appoint an executor. The will usually nominates someone for the position, but the executor will not have legal authority to take actions until approved by the court.
  3. An inventory is made of all the assets, as well as a determination if the estate is owed money by any other parties. At this time, a special checking account may be created to take care of the estate’s obligations.
  4. The outstanding debts of the decedent and the ongoing expenses of the estate will be identified and paid. These debts should be uncovered in the previous steps.
  5. The remaining property will be distributed to heirs based upon the wishes outlined in the will and according to the laws of Georgia, after approval by the court.

This is obviously a simplified look at what happens during the process, but even from this brief list, it is possible to see why it is so beneficial to have an experienced probate lawyer in Savannah involved. He or she not only oversees the legal aspects of probate—filing paperwork and keeping things moving forward—but also guides the executor on what duties need to be fulfilled. Ideally, the probate process will take only a few months, but to the time it takes to obtain court hearings and the built in waiting periods to ensure creditors are paid, this timeframe is typically stretched out to take a year. If any issues arise or there is disagreement among the heirs the timeframe is even longer. A probate lawyer will help to avoid as many pitfalls as possible so that the estate can be closed efficiently and in a timely manner.