Broadly speaking, an estate plan encompasses the accumulation, conservation, and distribution of an estate. A good plan will enhance and maintain the financial security of individuals and their families.

You need certain documents to meet your estate-planning goals, and a basic understanding of the way it all works.

Wills:  The Cornerstone of all Estate Plans

A will represents your expressed intentions and assists in the disposition of your property after death. Every individual should have one. Because a will does not become legally enforceable until your death, it can be altered at any time before the maker’s, or testator’s, death or mental incompetence. A properly drafted will contains instructions for your personal representative, the executor. The executor is responsible for administering your estate.  A will offers many advantages. It enables you to control, to a great extent, what happens after you are gone.

With a will you can:

  • Choose the executor
  • Designate a guardian for minor children or others who are unable to fully care for themselves
  • Distribute property to beneficiaries of your choice
  • Give generously to charity
  • Minimize estate tax
  • Have a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind

The last thing you want to do is pass on without a will. A person who dies without a will is considered “intestate.”  Dying intestate can be unnecessarily costly for your heirs, and leaves you without any say in who receives your assets, or in what proportion those assets are distributed.  Some assets, such as individual retirement accounts and life insurance proceeds, bypass a will entirely. They go directly to beneficiaries listed and filed with the financial firm that handles those products. Otherwise, the state decides who receives what.  Each state has a prescribed method to distribute the property of those who die without a will.

For over 40 years, Hollowell, Foster & Herring has helped clients preserve and transfer wealth in a manner that minimizes estate taxes, and the costs of estate administration, and maximizes the delivery of their assets to intended beneficiaries. The Firm serves a range of clients: from modest estates that require only basic planning, to large, complex estates that utilize sophisticated planning techniques designed to avoid or minimize estate taxes. Our attorneys maintain close, working relationships with all integral parties, including accountants, life insurance agents, and financial planners, to ensure that a strategic approach is taken to protect our client’s estate. The Firm’s estate planning attorneys provide individualized attention to each matter. Our goal is to develop a plan that meets the unique needs and desires of each client.

Hollowell, Foster & Herring can assist with the following services:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Power of Attorney
  • Georgia Advance Healthcare Directive
  • Wealth Preservation
  • Asset Protection
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Elder Law and Medicare Planning
  • Probate and Trust Administration
  • Estate Taxes

The Firm’s expertly designed plans make appropriate use of wills, health care directives, and testamentary, lifetime and charitable trusts.  Additionally, if necessary, the Firm assists in devising appropriate business succession and asset protection plans, including use of family limited partnerships and other devices. The Firm’s attorneys have considerable experience representing administrators and executors in the administration of estates; have successfully defended wills submitted to probate; and have challenged defective wills.

The Firm’s estate planning attorneys are graduates of law schools of national prominence, and have successfully advised clients on complex legal matters.  The Firm uses the latest in electronic research, drafting software and document assembly programs, to provide superb customized estate plans to its clients