What should be included in my Georgia Last Will & Testament?
Most people know that they need a will, but they don’t know everything that the will should contain. Although everyone is different and needs vary, commonly wills include these provisions:
- The will tells where your property should go. This is what most people think of when they think of a last will & testament – a document that states who gets your property once you’ve passed away. Although most people leave their property to family members, others leave gifts to friends, charities, or sometimes even pets.
- Burial vs. Cremation. Wills commonly state whether the testator wants to be buried or cremated, and if the body is to be buried in a specific place or ashes sprinkled in a specific place. This information is also contained in the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare.
- Guardians for minor children. This is one of the most important provisions in the will for parents of minor children – naming a person or a couple to raise their children for them if they are both gone.
- Trusts. Some people would prefer that their beneficiaries not get everything right away, so the property may be set aside in a trust that’s contained in the will. Although this is most commonly included in the wills of parents of minor children, trusts can be used for a variety of purposes, including to benefit special needs children or adults, to care for pets, to protect money for beneficiaries who may not be responsible with money, to provide for the education of grandchildren, to protect money for the benefit of children from a previous marriage, and more.
- Naming executors and trustees. Your will will list who you want to be your executor (the person who wraps up your affairs and follows the directions in your will once you’re gone), as well as your trustee (the person who is in charge of any money you leave to a trust).
- Waiving a bond, inventories and returns. Typically, in your will you will relieve the executor from posting a bond, and from filing inventories and returns with the court. This makes it easier for your executor to wrap up your estate.
Wills are a necessary part of estate planning for most people. If you are interested in discussing your Georgia Last Will & Testament with an attorney, call Sarah White, Marietta estate planning attorney, at 678-453-6490 today.