Wills and Probate


Wills help you direct where your property goes after you pass away. You can ensure college assistance for children or grandchildren or take care of a special needs relative. You can give away your estate outright or in trust for your spouse, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and so forth.

Mr. Casey's Estate Plans generally include a Will, General Power of Attorney (allows someone to sign your name to financial matters or things), Medical Directive (allows someone to make health care decision for you in case you cannot do it for yourself, and you direct what type of treatment you desire for your "End of Life"), and, if applicable, Medial Power of Attorney (allows someone to allow medical treatment for a child).

Some people may want a "Revocable Living Trust" (simplistically, this passes an asset(s) to your heirs without having that asset go through probate and may protect your asset(s) from Medicare or Medicaid attachment). Generally Speaking, it costs $1,500.00* for the entire estate plan.

The Estate Plans that Mr. Casey prepares are generally for those persons who are under the Federal Estate Tax Limit. If you are under that limit, then there is no estate tax. If you are over that limit, there may be tax on that amount over the limit. There is no estate tax between Husband and Wife. Georgia really doesn't have an estate tax, it "sponges off" the Federal Estate Tax. What is the estate tax limit and how much is the tax?

The estate tax limit has evolved over th eyears, but currently it is just over Five and Half Million Dollars. That means that your estate must be worth over Five and Half Million Dollars before the Federal Estate Tax applies.

If the tax applies, the amount of the tax is a sliding scale depending on how much over the tax limit you are. The higher over, the higher amount of tax.


Probate is the court-supervised process of administering a person's probate estate. The process includes validating the will (or making the determination that there is no valid will), appointing the person who will gather and manage the assets of the estate, paying claims against and expenses of the estate and distributing the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries.

Georgia has a modern probate code and probate judges who have no interest in prolonging the probate process or closely supervising the administration of estates when it is not necessary. So probate in Georgia is generally not burdensome or expensive. The court costs are often limited to the initial filing and a couple publication fees and are usually less than $500. (Court costs do not include compensation to the executor or fees charged by attorneys or accountants for services provided to the estate.) If you own real property in another state, it may be subject to probate in that state at your death, and you may want to avoid probate in that state by using a revocable living trust or some other technique.