Summary: In Siedentopf Law’s newest video series, estate planning and probate attorney discusses the basics of estate planning. Today, we’re focusing on what you will need to protect yourself, protect your family, and to protect your assets.
TRANSCRIPT: Hi, I’m Sarah Siedentopf, an estate planning and probate attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. Basics of estate planning: what documents do I need? Of course, this depends heavily on your exact circumstances and we do tailor our recommendations to our clients. But if you’re thinking very very basic and trying to figure out what is the bottom level of what you need, you need to think about three categories. The first is protecting yourself. The second is protecting your family and the third is protecting your assets. Now, people usually start with protecting family, especially protecting children. So we’ll start right there with the will. The will sets up a guardian for your children. It sets up a way to make sure that whoever you want to get your assets gets them. So we have our will and a lot of times people think “that’s enough because I don’t have an estate (what is an estate anyway),” but we really need to also protect you. It’s not enough to make sure that there’s someone there in case you pass away that will take your children. You also want to make sure that if for any reason you can’t take care of your own affairs, we have a financial power of attorney who can handle your legal affairs, who can handle your banking affairs, who can keep things going. Financial power of attorneys can even handle businesses sometimes. So you really need to make sure that you have that in place and the advance directive for healthcare, which is basically a medical power of attorney. Make sure you have authorized someone to speak for you medically and also given them the directions so that they are making the choices that you would make if you were able to make those choices. The third category of protecting your assets can get a little more complicated and less in the very very basics. We might be talking about trusts to avoid probate. We might be talking about specialty trusts to give creditor protection for your beneficiaries, things like that. But the two very very basic categories are protect you and protect your family. So I’m going to be speaking in the next few videos about these basic estate planning documents, and I look forward to talking to you more then. Thanks.
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