What Age Do I Need to be for a Georgia Will?
In the State of Georgia anyone of the legal age of eighteen (18) may acquire a will and testament to establish how their property or assets will be distributed following their death.
Therefore, any Georgia resident over the age of eighteen (18) is old enough to have an enforceable written Georgia Last Will and Testament. Without a will your family members or others may be able to divide your property or the courts may be required to intervene and have a ruling as to how your property should be divided. In many instances the ways that the property may be divided would be against the wishes of the deceased. Therefore, no matter your age, this is why it is imperative to make your wishes known.
A Georgia Will Can:
- Decide who gets your Money: It may be family, children, a friend, business, charity, school, foundation, etc. In addition, some people also set up a trust to receive all or some of their assets, giving them further control over time how the assets are distributed.
- Decide who gets your Personal Property and Affects: This can be any form of personal property either valuable or non-valuable, sentimental, tangible, etc. This can be very important to some people, as they will not want their personal sentimental items, pictures, etc. lumped in with their less valuable personal property.
- Decide who will not get your Money and Personal Affects: More importantly for some people, they will want to make sure that estranged relatives do not get any of their property under any circumstance. This is important because without a will, any living relative may assert a claim on your property after you have passed.
- Establish a Trust: This may be for family or for minor children when the reach the age of majority or any other age specified. A trust may also control how the money is spent such as for educational needs, support, living expenses, etc. A simple trust can be included in a will. However, most people want a trust be set up separate from the will, with the will directing which assets will go to the trust after they have passed.
- Decide who will care for your Minor Children: A will may determine who might be awarded custody and care of your minor children at the time of your death. This is something best discussed with the person or person(s) you choose, but it an important provision to have in a will if you have minor children.
- Decide who will care your Pets: Custody of pets may also be awarded in a will and other necessary divisions concerning the pets care. This may be the award of property and barn to an individual that inherits a horse or could be an award of extra monetary funds to the care taker of a beloved pet- in order to care for the pet. In addition, in Georgia a “Pet Trust” can be established to help pay for the care of your pets. In 1990, under Georgia law Leaving money to your pet became legally possible. In 1990 a section validating trusts for domestic animals was added to the Uniform Probate Code. Georgia’s pet trust law ( Ga. Code Ann., § 53-12-28 ) went into effect in July 2010.
The Best Way to Obtain a Will in Georgia
Attorneys may draft you a copy of your wishes in a will and ensure that any significant monetary amounts make their way into a trust or fund with beneficiaries and limitations of whom may control or benefit from the accounts. It is best to have an experienced Georgia will and trust attorney draft your documents because many wills and trusts not drafted by an attorney often have lapses and defects. In addition, an experienced Georgia attorney can make sure your will and/or trust is signed, witnessed and notarized properly, and attach the needed affidavits that make it easy to probate and administer.
A will may be filed in the probate court in the jurisdiction in which you reside and may be pulled from the county records at the time of your death and prior to the division of your assets or other tangible items. In many instances if a will is not in place and the distribution of property is not expressly outlined then family members may begin to have conflict between them about who will receive the given asset. Family feuds over possessions of a loved one can lead to irreparable relationship damages within the family and in some instances can even lead to physical altercations.
Other Considerations in Georgia Wills
An individual should consider having an attorney draft a will if they have any substantial amount of monetary funds that might outweigh any amount of debt at their time of death, an individual that may have pets, or minor children. In the state of Georgia even illegitimate children may receive an inheritance outlined in a will or if they are able to profit from the lineage distribution of assets. A will may allow the distribution of these assets in the portions in which you desire and can significantly reduce family conflict when transferring these positions or funds to the appropriate recipients on your behalf.
Coleman Legal Group, LLC Practices in the Area of Georgia Wills and Trusts
If you need a Georgia will and/or trust for you or your family, call us today at 770-609-1247 to speak with one of our experienced and caring wills, trust and estate plan Georgia attorneys. Contact >