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I am the parent of a child with special needs. Why is it so important for me to have a Will?

To ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

If you die without a will and have assets in your own name, your assets will pass by your state’s law of “intestate succession,” which sets forth who in your family will receive your estate and in what order. This distribution may be contrary to your wishes and may result in your child being denied eligibility for public benefits (generally, an individual may not receive SSI or Medicaid if they have more than $2,000 in assets). For example, if you die without a will in some jurisdictions, the law requires your assets be divided between your spouse and your child, even though you may want your assets to go to your child only if your spouse is not alive. In addition, a court would have to appoint a legal guardian that is accountable to the court to invest and manage your minor

Growth in Caregiver Crime

July 17, 2011

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Growth in Caregiver Crime

July 17, 2011

Authored by: Luke Lantta

Fiduciaries should familiarize themselves with signs that their clients are being exploited by caregivers, particularly where a fiduciary has had some role in selecting or paying the caregiver service.  As baby boomers advance in age, there is a reported rise in exploitation by those they have hired to care for them.  Commons allegations are undue influence, misuse of powers of attorney, and incapacity.  In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Rankin explores the rise in caregiver crime.

Enhanced Health Care Proxies

July 12, 2011

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Enhanced Health Care Proxies

July 12, 2011

Authored by: Luke Lantta

In a recent blog post, Paula Span examines the challenges of assisting elderly relatives with their health care when those relatives have not been declared incapacitated. The movement in a number of states to permit ‘enhanced’ health care proxies would allow designees to assist with or make health care decisions for the principal while the principal is still legally competent.

Georgia Supreme Court Applies Florida Law in Bequest of Florida Real Property

July 11, 2011

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In the third time Melican v. Parker has come before the Georgia Supreme Court, a 4-to-3 majority of the Court ruled that Florida law applied to determining whether a contract of sale not consummated prior to death causes an ademption when the questioned gift bequeathed in a Georgia will is real property located in Florida.

Gov. Deal signs “Trust Code Technical Amendments Act of 2011”

July 11, 2011

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On May 12, 2011, Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 134, which made a number of technical corrections to the Georgia guardianship and trust codes, corrected terminology, and updated cross-references within the codes. In addition, the bill allows natural guardians of children to consent on behalf of a beneficiary if there is no conflict of interest. The full text of the bill is located here.

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