Need to Plan for the Financial Future of Your Children and Grandchildren?
THE GENTRY LAW FIRM IS HERE TO ASSIST YOU.
Our compassionate wills and trust attorneys have in-depth experience with estate planning for people looking to leave a legacy. We use decades of legal insight not just to draft and execute the legal documents you need to establish legitimate plans for your assets and property, but also to empower you with the tools and the knowledge you need to make the best choices for your family. We have handled countless estates like yours and are ready to protect you and your property.
Whether you want to ensure your children, grandchildren, or other family members are provided for in the future or hope to bypass unnecessary taxes and legal complexities – the Gentry Law Firm has the answers.
Our Marietta Estate Planning Lawyers Offer:
- A Free, 30-Minute Consult
- Respected Representation
- Clear Communication – Calls Returned Within 24 Hours
- Experienced and Compassionate Paralegals and Support Staff
- Courtroom-Tested Attorneys Advocating for You
Get Answers About:
- Estate Planning
- Probate Process
- Intestate Succession
- Trusts & Taxes
- LGBTQ Estate Planning
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Estate Planning After a Divorce
- Estate Planning During Separation
- High-Asset Estates
- Living Wills
- Powers of Attorney
- Advance Directives
Georgia Wills Lawyers
AT THE GENTRY LAW FIRM, YOU’LL ALWAYS BE WELL INFORMED & TAKEN CARE OF.
With an office conveniently located near the historic square in Marietta, GA, our will and trust attorneys help people throughout the Metro Atlanta area and in Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Bartow, Paulding, Cherokee, and Douglas, and Clayton Counties. We handle all aspects of drafting and executing wills.
Who Can Create a Will?
There are five requirements for a will, often called a “last will and testament,” to be valid in Georgia. If anything is missing, the will may not be honored by a court and may be legally challenged.
For a will to be legally valid in Georgia:
- The creator must be at least 14 years old. (Georgia Code 53-4-10(a))
- The creator must be competent to “freely and voluntarily” execute a will. (Georgia Code 53-4-12)
- The will must be written – either by hand or typed. (Georgia Code 53-4-20)
- The creator must sign the will (called the “testator”). (Georgia Code 53–4-20)
- Two witnesses must sign the will. (Georgia Code 53-4-20(b))
Types of Wills in Georgia
There are multiple types of wills that you might opt to create, depending on the complexity of your estate.
Some Examples of Georgia Wills:
- Simple Will determines who receives your assets and names guardians for your children.
- Testamentary Trust Will – A trust for assets to benefit particular beneficiaries, such as minors.
- Joint Will or Mirror Will – Executed and signed by multiple people (often spouses). Terms generally cannot be changed, even after death.
- Living Will – Determines the medical treatment you want if you become incapacitated and names someone to make decisions on your behalf.
Wills in Combination with a Trust
Many of these wills can be effectively used with one or more trusts to ensure your wishes are adequately addressed. It’s necessary to consult with a knowledgeable trust attorney to ensure you develop the best plan possible for your estate.
01 / 05
I would like to thank Mr. William Gentry and his great staff for giving me excellent service with my case. This law firm made this very difficult time more comfortable than I had ever expected. I highly recommend Gentry Law Firm for any of your family law issues. Again thanks to you and your staff!!!
02 / 05
"Thank you for your hard work, caring for your clients, your prayers and kindness. This has been a long hard road but we look forward to the day we can start a new chapter. Again thank you."
WC Client, February 2020, 2022
03 / 05
Bill, you and your staff have been so kind and professional and made me feel like I was not just "a number". I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the settlement. Thank you!
NJ - 12/21/18, 2022
04 / 05
I want to thank you for your very hard work and time spent on my case the last two years. I truly appreciate all your efforts and kindness that you have extended.
(LD November 2018), 2022
05 / 05
Bill and staff were wonderful to work with. Great attention was taken into consideration for my sensitive case. They made a very difficult time in my life much smoother. His advice was great. Always a quick response. I would definitely recommend.
Georgia Trust Lawyer
OUR CLIENTS ARE PROTECTED.
You worked hard to accumulate assets to pass them on to your children, grandchildren, and others. It would be a shame to lose any significant amount to taxes, unintended parties, or the government. An appropriate trust ensures that your financial accounts and property are distributed as intended.
What Is a Trust?
A trust is a legal document that creates a fiduciary relationship in which a trustor (the owner of the assets or property) gives a trustee (a person or entity) the right to use property and assets for the benefit of a beneficiary (a third party). Trusts are often used along with wills to save time, minimize paperwork, and avoid unnecessary inheritance and estate taxes.
A trust is a valuable tool to maintain privacy and offer a high level of control. Anyone can utilize a trust to develop a solid estate plan – not just the wealthy.
Types of Georgia Trusts
Trusts come in many forms. Frequently, they are created during the life of a trustor and used to divide assets and property before or after their death.
Examples of trusts include:
- Living Trust – Created during the trustor’s life to avoid probate, allowing assets to be transferred to beneficiaries by a trustee.
- Testamentary Trust – Established for minor beneficiaries, created by a will, and allows for flexibility.
- Revocable Trust – Includes provisions that can be modified or canceled depending on the trustor’s wishes and assets.
- Irrevocable Trust – May be appropriate in certain situations but cannot later be undone.
- Special Needs Trust – Allows a trustor to transfer assets without that beneficiary losing their needs-based government benefits, depending on how much money the person has.
- Marital Trust – Used to leverage marital deductions for federal taxes when a spouse passes assets to heirs.
- Minor Trust – Holds assets until a minor reaches a certain age or the age of majority.
- Spendthrift Trust – Allows the testator to establish how assets will be spent to benefit a beneficiary.
- Charitable Trust – With many tax deductions, the testator can leave a charitable legacy.
- Credit Shelter Trust – Lets a married couple reduce estate taxes while passing assets to beneficiaries.
- Insurance Trust – Established with a life insurance policy as the asset, this trust also helps avoid certain taxes.
Planning for Disposition of Your Estate
LET US SIMPLIFY YOUR JOURNEY.
While you don’t have to file your estate planning documents with any legal authority, you must follow a general process and adhere to Georgia law when drafting and properly executing your will, trusts, and other estate planning tools.
It’s best to work with an attorney for wills who can guide you through this process and make sure you don’t leave anything out. If you fail to name any assets or property in your will, it may be distributed to heirs in a way that you disapprove of.
Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning FAQs
Is There a Will Attorney Near Me?
Yes. The Gentry Law Firm is conveniently located in Marietta, Georgia, and serves clients throughout the Atlanta Metro area. We offer legal advice to residents of Cobb, Cherokee, Paulding, Bartow, Douglas, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Clayton Counties. We will help you find a reputable and competent will and trust attorney to handle your case if you are outside of our service area.
How Much Does an Estate Plan Cost?
While you can draft your own will for free, there is a very good chance it won’t include everything necessary or it might leave out a required element to make it valid in Georgia. If your will isn’t valid, you have no control over who gets your assets when you pass away. You can typically hire a Marietta will attorney for a reasonable fee to listen to your needs and make sure your heirs and beneficiaries are well cared for.
During your initial 30-minute consultation, the estate planning attorneys at the Gentry Law Firm will evaluate your needs and give you an estimate of how much your will, trust, or estate plan may cost to draft and execute. We can also advise you regarding the need and utility of trusts in your estate. We will ensure that you get the best estate plan possible within your budget.
What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?
Suppose you die without a valid will in Georgia. In that case, your assets and property will be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession, which are the state laws that establish who gets what after the death of someone without a will. Georgia intestacy law gives property to your closest relatives. In some situations, the state may take your property itself.
What To Look For in a Estate Planning Lawyer
Legal Knowledge with Industry Experience.
Selecting the right lawyer to handle your estate plan is essential. If you have children, significant assets, or have gone through a divorce, you will have to incorporate many different aspects into your will to ensure the best future for your family.
First, Consider Your Goals
The primary purpose of estate planning is to achieve the long-term financial goals you have for your family. You can meet your family’s needs, contribute to charities, and protect your business investments with a solid and strategically created estate plan.
You need a will and trust lawyer who understands the law and your needs to ensure your assets and property are properly protected. The best attorney for wills will get to know you and have a working knowledge of your goals before beginning your estate plan.
Here are the 5 characteristics of a highly effective wills and trusts lawyer:
Not all estate planning firms are the same. You need a law firm that has extensive experience handling cases like yours. With decades of experience, the Gentry Law Firm prides itself on knowing how to handle a wide array of cases.
2. LEGAL KNOWLEDGE.
Although anyone can create a will in Georgia, it’s best to leave the drafting of legal documents with this much importance to a professional. The attorneys at the Gentry Law Firm stay up to date on the latest legal changes. We know Georgia law inside and out.
You need to be able to trust the professional who is creating the plan for your life savings and property. Our team upholds the highest legal ethics and moral standards when dealing with our clients’ assets. We want to help you do what is best now and in the future.
Without legal training, it can be hard to know what’s happening with the creation of a will or trust as it is going on. That’s why it’s important to have a lawyer who communicates with you throughout the process. We consistently contact clients and responds to all calls within 24 hours.
Some areas of law are cut and dry. However, estate planning requires creativity to develop a dynamic will to work with all of your assets and heirs while integrating trusts that can benefit others and avoiding some of the negative aspects of property distribution after death.