Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, and Probate Cases
Debranski & Associates has decades of experience working with clients who wish to implement estate plans, including simple and complex wills, advance directives, and durable powers of attorney. Ron Debranski also has experience in revocable and irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, as well as probate, caveats, and litigation from probate court to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Learn more about some of the estate planning services we offer.
Estate Planning refers to the set of documents that give you the ability to choose what should happen to your money, belongings, and body in the event you are injured, ill and/or pass away. These documents can vary depending on your needs and what you want your plan to accomplish when you need it. In most cases, individuals and couples need a Will, Advance Directive, and Durable Power of Attorney to fully protect family and assets. An estate plan may also include a Trust. At Debranski & Associates, we are happy to discuss your individual needs to help you decide the best estate plan for you and your family.
Probate is a court-supervised process to either prove a will or administer an estate without a will, (called an intestate estate). In the probate process, the court designates an Executor or Administrator, (both also called Personal Representatives), to act on behalf of a decedent’s estate. The probate process gets your estate, that is your property house, savings, and any other property or belongings you own at the time of your passing, to your heirs. Typically, this is done based on your Last Will and Testament, which names someone as a personal representative who will be in charge of representing you and your family’s best interests during the process. A good will also greatly simplifies the probate process. When planning your estate, our team can guide you on how to avoid or minimize the probate process and help make the process as convenient as possible for you and your family.
The foundation of your Estate Plan is a Last Will and Testament. This document outlines your final wishes, names an executor, and states how your possessions should be distributed after your death. Although there is a process for your estate to be distributed without a will called Administration, Wills let you make sure your estate goes to the heirs you want with the least amount of problems. A Will can help maintain control over your legacy and protect your family’s financial future. Together, the team at Debranski & Associates can help you create a plan to ensure your final wishes are honored.
Testamentary Trusts are also known as wills with trust provisions. This type of will gets probated but sets up a trust in certain circumstances if the Testator chooses. One example would be to name a trustee to handle funds for minor or young adult children.
The term “Trust” is broad and can act as a powerful Estate Planning tool that ensures your wishes are carried out during and at the end of your life. A Trust can help you effectively plan for the future, and there are multiple types, including living, testamentary, revocable and irrevocable. The most common Trust is a Revocable Living Trust, a document that can be changed during your life, and when you pass away, operates similarly to a Will but can entirely avoid the probate process. A Revocable Living Trust is designed to distribute your property held by the Trust to your Beneficiaries once you pass.
Trusts offer flexibility in that they can also set aside funds for anything, from assisted living expenses to the care of adored pets. Another type of Trust, a Special Needs Trust, sets aside money for a child or dependent who will need specialized care for the remainder of their life while preserving benefits. Ron Debranski and his team can assist you in drafting these documents to meet your specific needs.
Your Advance Directive is the document that names an agent to handle medical decisions for you based on your wishes in the event you are unable to decide for yourself. This greatly reduces stress on your family in critical times.
Powers of Attorney
The most common type of Power of Attorney in an estate plan is a Durable Power of Attorney. This document names someone to handle your personal business if you are unable to do it yourself. The Durable Power of Attorney triggers when one becomes incapacitated and expires once the person regains capacity.
At times, people want to immediately name someone to act for them for personal business. In this case the Power of Attorney is valid immediately and remain in effect until the person revokes it.