Barlay Law Group

11 Basic Steps of Estate Planning

1. Write Down Everything You Own

The first step in developing an estate plan is to determine what are all of your assets. This means making a list of everything you own. This may sound easy, however, there may be things that you may have forgotten or you think have little value. It is important to include everything in your list, whatever the value.  Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most to your heirs. In certain circumstances, some of the items may "grow legs" and disappear if not properly identified. When you list your property, you should also make a note of whether the property is owned by you alone or jointly with someone else, such as your spouse. Joint property is usually not affected by your will or trust.

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9 Fatal Mistakes About Drafting Wills

Mistake #1 – Simultaneous Duplicate Wills.

Duplicate original wills are a mistake. Execute one will. The basic concept of wills is that you may revoke a will by destroying it with the intent to revoke it. What happens if one or some, but not all, duplicate originals are destroyed? Under Georgia law, if a Will is executed in duplicate originals, all originals must be produced or their non-production explained. If an original is missing without explanation, the Will may be deemed revoked by destruction, or it may not, depending on the outcome of unnecessary litigation.

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