Here we are sharing 3 reasons you should work with an attorney when preparing your will and other important documents in your estate plan.  We’ll share them in three separate posts and expand a little bit on each reason!

Here is reason number one of the three reasons you should work with an attorney when getting a Last Will & Testament and other important estate planning documents in place:

While there isn’t a legal requirement in Georgia to work with an attorney when you prepare your will, there are quite a number of legal requirements (not optional at all) for what your Will needs to look like, the language used and who and how it should be signed in order for it to be valid.  For example, in Georgia, if you have a separate statement at the end of your will, called a self-proving affidavit, then the witnesses who sign your last will and testament don’t need to be found when you pass away to testify that those are their signatures on your will and that they signed in your presence.  This can be crucial to your family if you pass away several years later or even in a different state from the one in which you initially sign your will.  This is just one of many technical requirements that make your will “valid” and acceptable in a probate court here in Georgia and, if you move, even in other states courts.

Think of these as technical requirements and if they are not met, there is a high likelihood that a judge, when given your Will, won’t consider it legally valid and will throw it out.

Working with an attorney who practices estate planning, especially one who exclusively practices it, will ensure that the technical requirements of what needs to be in your Will are met and there is very little opportunity for a judge to not allow your Will to be carried out.  We work with clients in the Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Peachtree Corners, Sandy Springs, Milton, Cumming, and surrounding areas to ensure their will and other important estate planning documents meet all legal and technical requirements to be considered valid and acceptable by our Georgia probate courts.

Why is this important?  Well, your Will contains your choices.  Choices about your family, your money, your things, your body, your legacy.  So when your Will is thrown out, your choices are also thrown out. The alternative is that your family, your money, your things, your body and your legacy will be at the mercy of how the politicians and judges decided these things should be handled.   What do I mean?  It means that if you don’t have a will, there are laws in place that were created by politicians (legislatures) that decide who gets your money and things and the amounts it is divided among them.