Wills and Probate Attorney Serving Woodstock, GA - Protecting Your Assets
Fighting for the legal rights of your beneficiaries
Preparing your will is the best way to make sure your assets and property are divided according to your wishes. Often, however, that will is contested in probate, which means it will be argued in court. I have comprehensive knowledge of the laws concerning wills and probate and can help you draw up a will, make sure you’ve included the necessary assets and represent you in case the will is challenged. Drawing up a will is a complex process, so it helps to know a few things before you start.
Why do you need a will?
Think of a will as having control over your possessions after your death. Without a will, your property and assets will be distributed to your heirs in accordance with state law. That, however, might not be what you wanted. For example, if you have a beloved niece with whom you were closer than with your children, you can arrange for her to receive a larger share of your estate. Other reasons for drawing up a will include:
- You can direct all of your estate to be given to your surviving spouse instead of being shared by all your children.
- In a will, you can nominate a specific person be your children’s guardian. Without a will, the court can decide who will be their guardian.
- You can choose the executor of your estate — the person who will manage and distribute your property after your death.
- You can set up an estate plan in your will to reduce your federal estate taxes. If you have no will, your estate might have to pay more in taxes.
It’s important to know that a living will isn’t actually a will at all, but rather what is called an advance directive for health care. It merely spells out what you want done if you are unable to communicate because you are hospitalized, permanently unconscious or in a terminal condition. It’s always better to write a will sooner than later. At Gleichman Law Firm LLC, I can help you amend or update your will at any time, as long as you are competent, either by writing a document called a codicil or by executing a totally new will.
How long does probate take?
Probate — the process of contesting a will in court — usually takes eight months to a year in Georgia. If there is a court fight over your will — for instance, because the plaintiff questions your state of mind when you made your will — probate can take even longer. You can spare your family a long and expensive probate court hearing by setting up any of a number of trusts, such as a living trust that includes all your property and assets. Probate hearings and establishing trusts are two areas in which I have years of experience. I can help you make sure your estate is on solid ground well in advance.
Call my Marietta estate planning law firm to manage your will and probate
If you need to draw up your will or take a will to probate, call the Marietta office of the Gleichman Law Firm LLC for an appointment at 678-331-7058 or contact me online. I try to return all calls within 24 hours, and I make home and hospital visits. My hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends by appointment only. My office is located just off I-575. Free initial consultations may be available upon request.