by shane smith

So, you think you’ve planned well for the future. You have a successful career with long-term goals in place, solid investments, a growing retirement account and a sizeable life insurance policy. Your children have college funds and you and your spouse have even talked about who you’d want to take care of your children if something were to happen and you were no longer around. From your perspective, then, you’ve planned well.

Not so fast. Did you know that all of your planning and good intentions have no legal merit unless you put your wishes in writing? If you don’t and something were to happen to you, judges, the state and other complete strangers could decide how your finances would be handled, who would be granted custody of your children, and whether your spouse could retain ownership of the business you worked years to build. Is that what you want? Probably not.

In Estate Planning Guide for Georgia, attorney R. Shane Smith guides you through the often-confusing process of estate planning and sets straight the false notion that not everyone needs to have an estate plan. ”A lot of my clients have delayed creating their estate documents because they incorrectly believe that their estate isn’t large enough for estate planning,” writes Smith. “Or, that if they passed unexpectedly their families would step in and make sure that what they had verbally relayed to them will happen with regard to their kids and their belongings. I’ve seen this misconception cause a lot of unnecessary stress and heartache.”

Whether you are young and single with minimal assets, an established business owner with kids in college, or older and looking at retirement, creating a solid estate plan is the right thing to do – for yourself and for your family.


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