Wills, Trusts, & Estates
It does not matter who you are or what you own: everyone needs a will. A Last Will and Testament makes it easier for your property, whether real estate or personal property, to be distributed the way you want it to be distributed after your death. Wills can be simple, and wills can be complex. Whether your will is simple or complex will depend on the amount of detail required in your will, the amount of property to be distributed, the number of individuals to whom property is to be distributed, and whether you have used your will to establish one or more trusts upon your death. The cost of drafting a Last Will and Testament varies depending on how simple or complex the drafting of the document will be.
At Lowry Law, we have extensive experience drafting simple and complex Last Wills and Testaments, general and statutory powers of attorney, and Advance Directives for Healthcare. We also have experience setting up trusts when needed. Further, Ms. Lowry has handled many guardianships/conservatorships of adults and minor children. While these forms are available online, they are often confusing, and you must be very particular when filling out forms for the Probate Court. We strongly advise you to call us for guidance through the process if you are in need of a guardianship or conservatorship.
Yet, our Probate practice is not limited to only the documents discussed above. We handle many types of matters in Probate Court:
- Probating a Last Will and Testament
- Petitioning the Court to be Administrator of an Estate (where the decedent died without a Last Will and Testament)
- Administering an Estate
- Guardianship of a Ward (Adult) – Often needed to continue to handle the affairs of a special needs child or needed where an elderly relative no longer has the mental or physical capacity to care for himself or herself
- Conservatorship of a Ward (Adult) – Often needed to handle the financial benefits of a special needs child or needed where an elderly relative no longer has the mental capacity to handle his or her own financial affairs
- Guardianship of a Minor – Often used where a child’s parents agree to give guardianship of their child to a relative or another person approved by the parents
- Conservatorship of Minor – Often used when a minor inherits a large sum of money or is awarded a judgment in a lawsuit, and the Court appoints an adult conservator to manage the money to ensure that it is not squandered
Advance Directive for Healthcare
Another document everyone needs is an Advance Directive for Healthcare. This is the document that replaced healthcare powers of attorney and what used to be referred to as a “Living Will.” This document covers numerous scenarios and allows you to make end-of-life decisions for yourself, not leaving your beloved family members to make those decisions on your behalf. If you truly love your spouse, children, or any other relative that may find themselves having to make decisions about whether to use life support on you or submit your body for an autopsy, you do not want your loved ones to have to make such difficult decisions and to live with those decisions for the rest of their lives, wondering if they did the right thing, if they did what you would have wanted. In Georgia, the Advance Directive for Healthcare contains all of the information Georgia law requires.
If, however, you are a Roman Catholic, the Archdiocese of Atlanta has taken Georgia’s statutory Advance Directive for Healthcare and tweaked it to comport with Catholic teaching. Georgia law recognizes the Roman Catholic version of the Advance Directive for Healthcare. At Lowry Law, we are very familiar with both the statutory Advance Directive for Healthcare and the Roman Catholic Advance Directive for Healthcare, and we can lead you through the process of completing these documents.
Although you can create an Advance Directive for Healthcare on your own, we do not suggest it: the language used and the various sections and options can be very confusing for most people. This is a relatively inexpensive document to have done, and you should trust a lawyer to guide you through the process. It will be money well spent.
We also handle creating trusts, which can be a great estate planning tool. In addition, we offer general powers of attorney or statutory powers of attorney at very little cost. A power of attorney is another document that most people, particularly spouses and elderly persons who are receiving assistance from their children or other relatives with their financial obligations.