Every adult should have estate plans. Regardless of whether you possess very little or quite a lot, estate planning is the best way to ensure that your final wishes are honored and your heirs are protected. Estate planning can also offer tax benefits, not only for your estate but also while you are still living. From a straightforward will to sophisticated trusts, we can help you secure your legacy and provide for loved ones.
These documents protect your interests when you cannot. A power of attorney document authorizes your designated agent to act on your behalf according to the directions you spell out in the document. Powers of attorney can be very broad or very narrow, even limited to specific situations or areas of life; a power of attorney for healthcare is an example. (Please see the next section: Advance Directives for Healthcare.)
These documents, which function as powers of attorney for healthcare, express your healthcare preferences when you cannot. Advance directives spell out in detail what kind of medical care you want to receive if you ever need medical care at a time when you are incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself or express your own preferences. These documents can give your loved ones peace of mind and relief from having to make difficult choices on your behalf.
Elder law deals with the unique legal needs of aging individuals, with the goal of ensuring their financial, medical, and general well-being even if they outlive their ability to manage their own affairs. It draws upon the three practice areas above, as well as expertise in government benefits, long-term healthcare resources and their costs, and guardianships and conservatorships, to protect individuals from being exploited or abused and to protect their assets from being consumed by healthcare costs or squandered or stolen. Special-needs law is a related field addressing the unique legal needs of mentally- or physically-handicapped individuals.
Probate is the legal process of settling an individual's estate. If you have been appointed the executor or administrator of an estate, we can provide expert guidance as you navigate the probate process, up to and including managing the probate process for you. If you are an heir of an individual who died with no will, we can help you begin the probate process that leads to the appointment of an administrator who can settle the estate. Executors and administrators must discharge their duties in accordance with the law. If you have good reason to object to the probate process of an estate to which you are an heir, we can assist you in challenging the probate process.
Whether you are a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, bequestor, heir, or investor, we can help you navigate the complexities of real estate transactions. Sound legal advice can help you protect your assets and maximize their value while saving money and reducing exposure to liability and taxation.
Christopher Stokes was born and grew up in Bibb County, Georgia. At the Florida State University College of Law, he served as an articles selection editor for the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, studied at Oxford University, and worked pro bono in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Florida. After earning his Juris Doctor degree with honors in International Law, he practiced law in Virginia before returning to Middle Georgia to open his own practice. He is committed to collaborative attorney-client relationships that deliver superior results and value for every client.
JD, Florida State University
MA, PhD, Rice University
MLIS, University of South Carolina
MA, Georgia College & State University
BA, Mercer University
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Byron, Georgia 31008
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