Siedentopf Law’s video series “Do I Need A Trust?” continues with part two — how trusts can help you avoid probate. Click here to watch part one of this series, on trusts and privacy.
Hi, I’m attorney Sarah Siedentopf and I practice estate planning and probate in Atlanta, Georgia. Do I need a trust? This is a very common question and one of the things you should ask yourself is: Do I want to avoid probate? Probate in Georgia is not actually as bad as it is in some other states. It’s fairly quick, fairly cheap, fairly easy. Fairly is the operative word there because you never know what circumstances will be and I regularly deal with wills that weren’t properly signed and tracking down witnesses. So even an easy probate may not be as easy as having a trust. The trust is in place. You put your assets in it. You put your beneficiaries in the trust. When you pass away, there’s no probate. Now, sometimes there is probate if you’ve forgotten to put things into the trust, so that’s something to keep in mind. But if you’re looking to avoid probate, you may want to consider a trust and if you own property out of state you would actually end up doing probate in two different states, and then you would definitely want to consider a trust. If you’ve got more questions about avoiding probate and trusts, I’d be happy to talk to you.