Estate Planning and Probate Lawyers
Guiding Your Loved Ones and Protecting Your Assets
Estate planning is not only for the wealthy. Every person should have a will and supporting documents to dictate their wishes in case of an accident, illness, incapacity or death. Without a will, family members will face difficult decisions about your care, and the state dictates who gets your assets.
You can't assume your spouse or adult child will handle your affairs as you would. The Savannah, Georgia law firm of Smart & Harris offers affordable, personalized estate plans that cover all the bases. These can be as simple or as sophisticated as needed for your asset base and special concerns.
Explore Your Goals in a Free Initial Consultation
We welcome couples and individuals of Chatham County and surrounding counties to arrange an estate planning consultation. We also handle estate administration and probate litigation.
An Experienced Attorney Drafting Your Will
All of our attorneys practice in estate planning, and partners Don Smart and Steve Harris bring 75 years of combined legal experience. We have helped countless families get their affairs in order — in some cases just in time before tragedy struck or a loved one's health failed.
We will sit down with you to work through tough decisions and suggest scenarios and solutions you may not have considered. Common components include:
- A will to declare heirs and the distribution of your estate
- Durable powers of attorney appointing a trusted person to manage your business and financial affairs
- Power of attorney for health care and medical records release so that family members can make decisions if you cannot
- A living will regarding end-of-life care (life support, pain medication, etc.)
- Guardianship declarations for your minor children
- Appointment of an executor to settle your estate
- Special needs trusts or charitable trusts
Smart & Harris can also address succession planning for a family-owned or closely held business, or establish various types of trusts to transfer assets directly to beneficiaries outside of probate. For complex estates, we work with tax planning professionals to limit exposure to estate taxes or gift taxes.
Estate Administration and Will Contests
We serve named executors or court-appointed representatives in the duties of settling the estate of a relative or family friend. Our lawyers can assist or fully handle probating the will or filing Letters of Administration in the absence of a will, marshalling the assets, paying debts and taxes, distributions to heirs, and final accountings.
If there are disputes about the will or specific assets, our experienced trial lawyers can step in to negotiate a solution or litigate in probate court. We have represented beneficiaries, excluded heirs or the estate in will contests alleging undue influence, senility, dubious valuations, misappropriation or other questions about the validity of the will or the integrity of the estate.
Free Initial Consultation
If it's time to organize your estate or you are involved in the settling of an estate, call our Savannah office at (912)-201-2332, Brunswick office at (912) 262-9464 or contact us online.