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Decatur, GA 30030


Asset Protection, Wills and Probate: Where There’s A Will There’s A Probate

wills and probate

Asset protection, wills and probate… there is a close relationship to discuss…

We commonly hear the term “probate” whenever someone starts thinking about leaving assets to heirs. Additionally, we might hear about wills and probate after someone has passed.

So many people think having a will is the ticket out of probate. Not so!

Technically, “probate” refers to the proving of the will. Of course, this requires there to be a will and the court to determine it’s valid. Subsequently, a separate issue is the administration or disbursement of the assets designated in the will. These two separate and distinct actions are collectively referred to as “probate.” The fact is… just having a will does not allow you to avoid probate. Alternately, the opposite is true.

Having only a will is your one-way ticket straight to probate.

No matter the size of your estate, you want to have a formal estate plan.

Furthermore, this estate plan should include a trust and a will.  You want to have both legal documents in a well created estate plan. Otherwise, your estate could be drained away and your heirs could end up with little to nothing after legal fees incurred during the probate process.

Most recently, this was illustrated in the Aretha Franklin estate. She died without an estate plan. She had two handwritten wills, neither of which would have been found valid in Georgia but were valid in her home state of Michigan. Unfortunately, it took years for the court to determine which Will was valid. She died with an estate valued at $80 million. By the time her heirs received anything, the estate dwindled down to $8 million.

Most people don’t have that kind of an estate. As a result, this means you want to make sure your loved ones receive what you worked so hard to leave to them.

A well created estate plan, with a trust and a will, is what is required.

If you have a will, that’s not enough. Give my office a call today at 404-370-0696. Let’s make sure your loved ones don’t have to endure the painful probate process, losing time and money after they’ve just lost someone they love.


Looking to find an experienced estate lawyer in the Georgia area who is skilled in asset protection and estate plan preparation? Shannon Pawley is an attorney in Georgia with expertise in estate planning and asset protection. Shannon can provide assistance with creating an estate plan to include making a will and how to establish a trust properly. If you have questions about asset protection or questions about making an estate plan, reach out to Shannon and she will be glad to help answer all the estate planning questions you might have!

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