Barlay Law Group

Estate Planning FAQS

  • How do I decide whether I need a Will or a Living Trust?

Part of an initial meeting with Barlay Law Group will involving determing your preferences. There are several factors to take into consideration such as cost, privacy concerns, time, potential litigation, ancillary administration, disability planning, protection from creditors, medicaid planning, among others. After reviewing all these factors, you can usually make the determination on which estate planning vehicle to use.

  • Who can be Trustee or Executor?

With a Living Trust and during your lifetime, you are your own trustee. You may wish to select a professional trustee to manage your assets in trust, but a professional trustee, such as a bank, trust company or title company is not required by law. After your death, a successor trustee, usually your spouse, will conduct the affairs of the trust.
With a will, careful consideration must be made in deciding on an executor. They must be someone that you trust and is competent to serve. Keep in mind that if you select a peer that they may pass away before you do.

With either decision, Barlay Law Group strongly recommends identifying alternative individuals to serve as executor or successor, in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to serve.  We believe in naming THREE persons for each fiduciary role.

  • What is the difference between a Funded and Unfunded Trust?

Once you have decided on a trust and having received your living trust documents, your living trust will remain "unfunded" until you transfer your assets into it.
Transferring your assets into your trust is quite simple. For example, with a deed, you can transfer your real property from your current ownership to your trust. In addition, you may contact your bank or other institution where you hold assets to rename (or retitle) your assets and accounts as belonging to your trust.

At Barlay Law Group to ensure that all of our trusts are created, we always schedule a follow-up meeting with each client to check on the funding status. If the client does not wish to fund the trust, our staff may also be able to fund the trust.

  • Can I ever change my mind?

Yes. Whether you have selected a Will or a Living Trust you will be able to change your mind. With a Will, either a new Will can be drafted or a Codicil (or amendment) to the Will can be made. With a Living Trust, you have to remember that the Living Trust is revocable at any time.  You can create an amendment to reflect you current wishes.

  • What is a Pour-Over Will?

Since it is impractical to include everything you own in your Revocable Living Trust, the Pour-Over Will simply directs your named Executor to "pour over" any asset which you failed to include in your Trust, into your Trust, for distribution under its terms. Regardless of whether you transfer your assets to your Living Trust, a Pour-Over Will is highly recommended.

  • What does a Power of Attorney accomplish?

In the event that you leave the country, become incapacitated or incompetent, the Power of Attorney allows you to designate an individual to act on your behalf in managing your affairs, usually on a temporary basis. If you have a Living Trust and in extreme cases, a Power of Attorney will enable your designeee or agent to transfer for you, many of the remaining assets that, because of being incapacitated, you couldn't transfer to your trust yourself.

As part of your Estate Plan, Barlay Law Group always includes these Powers of Attorneys (considered Ancillary documentation), along with either your Will or Living Trust.

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  • Address: 1805 Overlake Drive, SE, Suite A
    Conyers, Georgia 30013