The Atlanta Attorney Who Makes Housecalls!

Dealing with the title to real estate upon the death of an owner: Don’t forget this step if you are an Executor or Administrator!

November 5, 2015
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If you are an Executor or estate Administrator, how do you make certain the title to real estate owned by the deceased reflects the death, joint ownership, or a transfer pursuant to the probate of a Will?
Upon a death, to properly effectuate a title change in real estate, the person with legal authority (Executor or Administrator) must file several documents with the real estate records of the county where the real estate is located. I always say to my clients: “There is no Real Estate Records Fairy who flies into the Courthouse and takes the name of a deceased person off of a title to real estate.”
The general idea is the same everywhere in Georgia. Documents must be filed in the local public land records, reflecting the death and that the surviving co-owner is now the sole owner of the property or reflecting any title transfers pursuant to the death.  Want to know more? http://www.seidenberglaw.com

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Re-Assess your Estate Planning!

November 2, 2015
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As life circumstances change, your family changes, and as the laws change (which they do), it is always advisable to assess and re-assess your assets, how they are titled, and the individuals who have legal authority to control those assets upon your incapacity or death.  What are the goals you want to accomplish with those assets?  Assessing your goals, motivations, and concerns in this regard is always a good place to start, and a good place to come back to on a consistent basis

An important issue that frequently is pivotal regarding “how and if” your estate planning will work when called upon is if you considered the legal implications of how your property is titled.  Considering the difference between “Probate Assets” and “Non-Probate Assets” is critical and can have a definitive impact on how your property is distributed upon your death.  Do your assets have beneficiary designations?  It your property truly titled jointly with the right of survivorship?  The way in which your property is titled likely will also have legal implications for you during your lifetime.

Assess and Re-Assess:  Considering how your assets are titled is critical and can have a definitive impact on how your property is distributed upon your death.  Revisit your beneficiary designations.  Most importantly, consider your goals and whether the planning you have in place will legally accomplish those goals.

Kristyne L. Seidenberg, Esq.

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The Law Offices of Kristyne L. Seidenberg, PC

2566 Shallowford Road, Suite 104

Atlanta, GA 30345

404.290.0305

Fax (404) 638-6873

KLS@seidenberglaw.com

web site: http://www.seidenberglaw.com


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The importance of having a current Will in place, your family will thank you!

May 25, 2015
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Many people think that by leaving no Will or estate plan, they are avoiding the involvement of the Probate Court. The opposite is true. The Probate Court must get involved to a much greater extent when someone dies without a valid Will because somebody has to legally gain authority to manage the Deceased’s affairs.
The Probate process is not as complicated or fraught with red tape as the average person may believe. Trying to avoid the Probate Process can actually be more complicated than the probate process itself! There is indeed a process and there are indeed procedures, but they are set up to work and accomplish the task at hand. When you try to avoid that process and you forget a step, or incorrectly title an asset, or forget to update a beneficiary designation, or don’t give anyone the legal authority to take care of your affairs after your death, you are actually creating more of a mess for your loved ones. There will likely be legal hurdles for them to overcome that are much more difficult than the Probate Process!


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Thoughts on leadership from KLS Law, worth re-posting!

May 21, 2015
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We as lawyers often consider ourselves to be “Leaders in the community” and “Fiduciaries” and “Mentors.” How often do we truly consider the vital aspects of leadership? Better yet, how often do we seriously work on our leadership skills and values? We have been told that leaders must always “Light a Torch” for others. Doesn’t that mean that we must also carry that torch? We must be a good example, honest, be thoughtful, be people focused, and be good listeners. As former NFL Star Pat Williams once said “View people as the bottom line, not as a tool to get to the bottom line.” I applaud that thought and challenge my fellow lawyers to take it to heart.
Good leadership is a constant intentional process that requires humility, good thinking and genuine effort. Lawyers: to be worthy of the trust put in us, we must be good leaders!


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Do you need a speaker for a group of any size regarding estate planning issues?

April 15, 2015
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If you know of a neighborhood group, garden club, parent group, etc. looking for a speaker, feel free to contact The Law Offices of Kristyne Seidenberg. I travel all over the Atlanta metro area, and have clients all over Georgia.

My main area of expertise is estate planning and the goal of my practice is to make estate planning “do-able.” I often do free seminars in the community and speak to groups about this important issue.

I would be happy to talk with your group about the importance of estate planning and help them sort through the issues also. Keeping one’s will and estate planning documents up to date is very important indeed. As time passes and families grow and change, as the law changes, and as individuals’ life circumstances change, it is always good to assess and re-assess in this area!

There are many things to think about. Non-probate assets are also an important consideration, as are Health Care Directives and Powers of Attorney. Living Wills are not enforceable in Georgia any more, as they have been replaced with Advance Directives for Healthcare. It is very crucial that beneficiary designations on non probate assets are also up to date with Georgia law. The estate tax laws changed recently as well.

Assessing goals, motivations, and concerns regarding estate planning is a good place to start. I would love to talk with your group about these issues goals and the changes that have happened in the law in this regard.

I want to be accessible and make addressing estate planning needs “do-able” for people. In my practice, I prefer to make house calls for my estate planning clients, but am happy to have clients come to my office as well. Often, my visits are sitting around the kitchen table, or wherever my clients are comfortable. I also make evening and weekend appointments. My goal is to be accessible and to help people make educated decisions about estate planning.

Please feel free to call or e mail at any time.
Kristyne L. Seidenberg, Esq.
The Law Offices of Kristyne L. Seidenberg, PC
2566 Shallowford Road, Suite 104
Atlanta, GA 30345
404.290.0305
Fax (404) 638-6873
KLS@seidenberglaw.com
web site: http://www.seidenberglaw.com


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Re-visit beneficiary designations on financial accounts and insurance policies!

April 8, 2015
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Have you considered the legal implications of how your assets are titled? Considering the difference between “Probate Assets” and “Non-Probate Assets” is critical and can have a definitive impact on how your property is distributed upon your death. The way in which your assets are titled also has legal implications for you/your family during your lifetime. Note: beneficiary designations on such accounts/policies are contractual in nature. Representatives at financial institutions and insurance companies are not lawyers and are prohibited by law from advising you regarding the effectiveness of your beneficiary designations. KLS Law often advises clients in this regard.


Taking Care of Aging Parents:

March 26, 2015
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The thought that one’s parents may be reaching the point of needing long term healthcare or of becoming incapacitated is difficult at best. At some point you may need to make some decisions about their care. It is best to address these issues and possibly intervene before a crisis evolves. Start talking to your parents now about their wishes and expectations. Find out where their important papers and all their financial information are at a time when no one is over stressed and when no one’s capacity is in question. Make certain that they have current Advance Directives for healthcare in place and also Durable Powers of Attorney. (*Important Note: By the operation of law, all powers of attorney become null and void upon the death of the grantor).
Although it is difficult, think about all of the things you might need to know or find if one or both of your parents were in need of long term medical care, suddenly died or became incapacitated. Some forethought will help you respond quickly and appropriately in this type of situation. They may even appreciate your interest and help in organizing their information and sharing it with you. Having a comprehensive estate plan in place, to give legal authority to the right person or people to manage your parents’ affairs both during their lives and after their lives, is very important!


Managing the Estate of a Loved One:

March 25, 2015
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Many people think that by leaving no Will or estate plan, they are avoiding the involvement of the Probate Court. The opposite is true. The Probate Court must get involved to a much greater extent when someone dies without a valid Will because somebody has to legally gain authority to manage the Deceased’s affairs.
If your loved one passes with a Will, the only way for anyone to gain legal authority to manage her/his affairs or transfer the title of assets is through the probate process by becoming Executor. Even a spouse does not have legal authority to do this without the stamp of approval of the Probate Court. If your loved one passes without a valid Will, the only way to gain legal authority to manage her/his affairs or transfer the title of assets is to petition the Probate Court to become Administrator of her/his estate. KLS Law often helps people with both of these processes and Kristyne Seidenberg is an expert in probate litigation and matters involving the Probate Court. KLS Law can help you with this process! Kristyne Seidenberg wants to help you be pro-active with your estate planning!


Enforceability and Do-ability: Will your estate plan work when it is needed?

March 6, 2015
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Practicing in the area of Probate Litigation for years has made me the devil’s advocate when it comes to estate planning. Your estate planning documents might “look good” on paper, but if they are not thoughtfully prepared, state specific and tailored to your unique situation, they will not be worth the paper they are written on!
Issues I address early when working with a new client are: enforceability, do-ability, and reality. Those ideas are pivotal to reaching an end product that is truly a statement of the client’s explicit intent. Helping clients make educated decisions about each issue is crucial. Information is good, questions are good, and taking the time to get to know each client and each unique situation is imerative in creating an effective estate plan that addresses both probate and non-probate assets, family dynamics, and the goals of each client.


Highest and Best Use of Real Estate: What does that really mean?

March 2, 2015
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img_0015.jpgWhen contemplating the issues involved in estate planning with a new client, I always want to consider the real estate involved in many ways. How the property is titled is pivotal. How the property is actually used is important. That property usually has much more than monetary value to a client.
Appraisers must consider a parcel of property’s “highest and best use” when assessing the ultimate value of the property. What does that really mean? To some clients, that means maintaining the monetary value by ensuring upkeep. For some it means best utilizing it for their family’s needs. For some it means ensuring that it can and will be passed down through the generations. One important consideration that is pivotal in achieving any of these goals is often overlooked by real property owners: What exactly does the title to the property reveal? Having “clear title” is required to achieve all of these goals. Do you know exactly how your real estate is titled?


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About author

Mission Statement: Working to promote equal access to the legal system and provide quality legal help for underserved community members. Goal: Make a difference for individuals in the greater Atlanta community and rural communities. Kristyne L. Seidenberg is the Owner and Managing Attorney of The Law Offices of Kristyne L. Seidenberg, PC. Ms. Seidenberg has been practicing law in Georgia since 2001. She graduated from Emory University School of Law. Ms. Seidenberg also has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She is a Certified Mediator and a Certified Teacher in the State of Georgia and has served her community as a teacher, counselor, attorney, and Guardian Ad Litem. In the legal realm, Ms. Seidenberg has program management, litigation, mediation, and legislative analysis experience. Her Master’s Degree in Counseling and her teaching experiences are something she draws upon continually in her practice of law and service to others. Ms. Seidenberg has more than a decade of litigation, public interest and project management experience. She has handled contested matters involving issues such as Due Process in the Public Schools, Civil Rights matters, property rights, domestic violence, child welfare, adult guardianships, estate disputes, child custody, child support, spousal support, equitable division of marital property, and contempt and modification actions. She has been an active member of a legislative task force. Making estate planning accessible to moderate and low income individuals is a mission for Ms. Seidenberg. Her probate litigation experience makes her an expert estate planner, focusing on the unique needs of each client and each situation. Potential clients can be assured that Ms. Seidenberg possesses the necessary experience and dedication to her areas of practice, and will give each and every client the personal attention that her/his case requires. Ms. Seidenberg takes pride in handling each client and case personally, and makes communication a priority. When Ms. Seidenberg is not passionately representing her clients and serving her community, she enjoys being the mother of two young children, the wife of an awesome husband, working on the farm, and being an involved community member. She also relishes spending time with her horse and pets, and enjoying her family and friends. Please visit the web-site of the Law Offices of Kristyne L. Seidenberg: www.seidenberglaw.com Also visit the Law Firm Facebook page where Kristyne Seidenberg addresses many issues.

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