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Basic Lifetime and Testamentary Planning

Fortson, Bentley and Griffin’s estate planning attorneys regularly employ the following fundamental tools when developing and implementing both simple and complex estate plans for clients:

  • Wills: Wills are regularly used to specify funeral arrangements, nominate guardians for minor children and to direct the final disposition of the assets in the testator’s probate estate.
  • Financial Powers of Attorney: Whether immediately effective or springing, a financial power of attorney appoints an agent and authorizes him or her, acting in a fiduciary capacity, to exercise certain powers over the assets of the principal.
  • Advance Directive for Healthcare: An advance directive for healthcare combines the following features:
    • A healthcare power of attorney that appoints an agent and authorizes him or her to make certain healthcare decisions for the principal during periods of incapacity;
    • A living will that provides instructions regarding treatment preferences; and
    • Nominations of potential legal guardians.
  • Non-probate Contractual Arrangements: Certain assets may be transferred to beneficiaries without the involvement of the probate court through the use of the following contractual arrangements:
    • Financial contracts, including insurance policies, annuities, and retirement plans;
    • Formal account designations, such as pay-on death (POD) designations on cash accounts and transfer-on-death (TOD) designations on asset accounts; and
    • Real property deeds creating joint tenancies with rights of survivorship.

Please contact one of FB&G’s experienced estate planning attorneys online or by telephone at 706-548-1151 to discuss your particular legal needs.