Lawrenceville, GA Estate Planning Law Firm Protects Your Interests
Gwinnett County estate planning lawyers create wills and trusts for clients
Whatever your age or financial status might be, appropriate estate planning is a serious responsibility. At Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C. in Lawrenceville, we work with a diverse group of Georgia clients to prepare enforceable legal instruments that meet their particular needs. Whether you’re looking to draft a will, create a living trust or provide directions as to who should have legal authority over your affairs during a medical crisis, our firm is ready to help. We also help Georgians handle probate tasks when a loved one passes way. No matter what your specific goals entail, you can rely on us for skillful legal counsel.
We handle your estate planning needs
Our firm assists clients in Gwinnett County and throughout Georgia with a full range of estate planning tasks, including the following:
- Will drafting — Anyone at least 14 years of age may draft a legal will as long as the document is written and signed by two witnesses, who also sign the will in the testator’s presence. Whether your needs are relatively straightforward or you require a sophisticated asset protection plan, we will develop a will tailored to your circumstances and goals.
- Creation of living trusts — A living trust is a popular estate planning choice for people who want their intended beneficiaries to collect their assets without having to wait through the probate process. Under this type of revocable instrument, you can change your plans whenever you like and can access property placed in the trust for the remainder of your life.
- Development of guardianship plans — If you have minor children or are legally responsible for a disabled adult son or daughter, we’ll help draft a clear document stating how you would like legal guardianship to be assigned in your absence.
- Choice of an appropriate executor — The person you appoint as your will’s executor likely will be the person most responsible for carrying out your final wishes. This is an important responsibility and we can outline the specific tasks of an estate representative so you can make an appropriate choice.
Failing to establish a sound estate plan could trigger serious problems for your loved ones during the probate process. This is particularly true in matters involving business succession and complex family relationships. Our firm is committed to finding the right solution for each client and giving them and their beneficiaries the security they deserve.
What happens if you don’t have a will when you die?
Without a valid will, property owned at the time of death is transferred to family members based on Georgia’s intestacy laws. If someone does not have a living spouse at the time of their death, their assets are divided among their descendants, which can include their children and grandchildren. A living spouse is the sole beneficiary if there are no descendants, and they are entitled to a share of the proceeds if there are any. Intestacy laws fail to take into account the decedent’s wishes. It does not matter that you don’t get along with one sibling or that your child is wealthy, everyone in the same group is treated equally. Completing a valid will is the only way to be sure that your intentions are honored.
What is a power of attorney document?
People establish estate plans in order to maintain control over important matters and safeguard the ones they love. Unfortunately, some people overlook the problems that can arise if they are incapacitated due to injury or illness. By completing a durable power of attorney document, you can make sure that someone you trust is put in charge of key decisions relating to your medical care and finances. You can rely on us to prepare a document that names a representative and spells out your wishes if you are ever unable to communicate.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal procedure by which a decedent’s assets and debts are allocated. If a dispute exists regarding the handling of an estate, a probate litigation attorney can help you seek a favorable resolution to conflicts over the validity of a will, debts the decedent allegedly owed and other issues. We guide estate representatives and beneficiaries through the Georgia probate process and can give you a thorough analysis of each party’s legal position so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. By adding a living will, you can also issue instructions about whether you want life-prolonging treatment if your condition is terminal.
Contact a thorough Georgia estate planning lawyer
Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C. in Lawrenceville advises clients in Gwinnett County and elsewhere on estate planning concerns, including the creation of wills, trusts and advance medical directives. Please call 770-884-7581 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.