Here's what's in the newsletter this week:
Don't Forget this Simple Estate Planning Step (New Video)
A Weekly Dispatch from Bryant & O'Connor Law Firm
Don't Forget this Simple Estate Planning Step

Most people think of wills and trusts when they think about estate planning, and of course those can be essential tools in a complete plan. However, a common misconception is that you can make a will (or a trust) and then check off estate planning as being permanently done. The reality is that you will likely open and close bank accounts, move your money around, get new insurance, buy new properties or a business interest, open a safe deposit box, etc. You might have a will (and maybe even a trust), but someone is going to have a problem if your assets aren't titled properly. What's worse is that if you don't have your assets inventoried for your chosen representative to reference, your family or loved ones might never even know you had a particular resource. This is why I emphasize taking the time to inventory your assets, meaning listing out each asset you have and identifying how it is titled and if it has a death beneficiary. This does at least three things:
  1. 1. Forces you to get personally organized and take stock of what you have
  3. 2. Leads you to evaluate whether your asset is properly titled
  5. 3. Creates a roadmap for your potential representative to follow if you became incapacitated or died
No one wants to give their property away to the government, but the most likely way that will happen for most regular people is simply losing their property, which could result in it getting turned over the Georgia's abandoned property division.  Creating an inventory and keeping it updated is a great way to reduce the chances that any of your property or money will be lost. I explore this topic deeper in my new video and give a few examples:

Of course, an inventory without a plan is of limited use, though making an inventory that can be updated is probably a good first step to get your affairs organized. I now require my prospective estate planning clients to complete a personal wealth inventory (a form I provide for booked sessions) before our first meeting to ensure that my clients understand how their estate plan (or lack thereof) will interact with their actual assets. If your plan and assets don't match, you or your loved ones' interests will be left vulnerable.
DISCLAIMER: All of the content of this newsletter and any other newsletter is general in nature and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Every individual’s situation is different, and assuming a one-size-fits-all solution is unwise. Legal, financial, or tax advice should only be relied upon when provided confidentially pursuant to an engagement agreement after your professional has agreed in writing to review your specific circumstances and give advice based on those circumstances. Hopefully this newsletter alerts you to issues that may affect you or people you know, leading you to know when to meet with a qualified advisor and get personal advice and service.

Until next time,

   Daniel J. O'Connor
   Managing Attorney
                                   502 Jackson Street
                                   Vidalia, GA 30474

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