In Siedentopf Law’s newest video, Georgia estate planning and probate attorney Sarah Siedentopf discusses the top reasons why you should consider creating an estate plan.
TRANSCRIPT: Hello, I’m Sarah Siedentopf, an estate planning and probate attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. What are the top reasons to do estate planning? That is what I want you to get out of this video. Obviously, as an estate planning attorney, I believe there are many, many reasons. The first one that will get people into the office is children. You want your child to have a guardian if something happens to you. And sometimes people say to me, “Well, I’m divorced. But I’ve got a sister. My sister’s going to get the kids, right?” And I say, “Well, does your ex have any relatives?” Or, maybe you’re still married. Do you have any relatives you wouldn’t want your kids to go with? You need a will. You need a guardian. That one’s easy. When people have babies, they know they need a will. They need to do estate planning. The next person you need to do estate planning for is you. It’s a little bit tricky, because estate planning suggests that you’re dead. But when I do estate planning documents, I also do power of attorney, medical advance directive, and HIPAA authorization. These documents are only good while you are alive. Your medical advance directive and HIPAA authorization allow somebody to make decisions for you medically if you’re not in a position to do it yourself. The power of attorney is allowing somebody to make financial decisions for you — pay your bills if something happens to you. It can almost be scarier to not have a power of attorney and medical documents than to not have a will, because if those are not in place and you need them, you’re going to be alive to know about it. You’ve got a problem that you’re actually going to have to live through. Your kids, you, who else? You want to do estate planning for your family. And I’m not just talking about your minor children, I’m talking about the people who will be dealing with your assets after you leave. Maybe your first thought is “I don’t have any assets, nothing really worth anything. Why do I need a will?” It makes things easier. Truly, even when there are very few assets, there are some assets. You probably have a car, even if it’s not worth much. You may very well have a bank account of some kind, even if it’s not worth very much. You want a legal document that will help pass these things onto the right person. It is easier for your family. It is quicker for your family. It is less stressful for your family to have estate planning documents complete. Obviously, if you actually have quite a few things, it will be more important to have very detailed estate planning documents in place. But even if your first thought is “my only assets are my student loan debts,” first of all, that’s probably not true, you probably do have something else. But estate planning is very important for you, for your children, and for your family, no matter what your situation is. If you have questions, and want to be sure that you really do need estate planning documents, feel free to contact me and we’ll talk about it. Thanks.
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