LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
A will is a legal document that ensures that a person’s finances and property are distributed accordingly to one’s beneficiaries after his/her death. You can identify beneficiaries and state what items of your estate you would like each beneficiary to receive. The document can be changed or revoked at any time as long as their mental capacity is established. A will is usually easier and less expensive to set up and maintain than a trust and may be a better option for someone with a small estate.
If you die without a will in Georgia, the Georgia laws of intestate (to die without leaving a will) will control the manner in which your property will be distributed. It is important that your will is carefully drafted, and all formalities are properly carried out in the signing of the will.
Like a will, a trust details how a person’s assets will be managed and distributed upon their death. Trusts also enable the person creating the trust to designate someone to manage his/her assets, a trustee, during their lifetime should he/she become incapacitated. Establishing a trust can be expensive do to management fees because it provides for long-term support and maintenance, limits the amount of money a beneficiary can receive at any one time, and prevents a beneficiary’s creditors and others from reaching the funds. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify how and when the assets pass to the beneficiaries.