Georgians secure land through estate planning program

Georgians secure land through estate planning program

Many Americans do not have wills or other estate plans. The 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture reports that the rate of dying Americans without a will is between 40%-70%, depending on factors such as race and income level.

The University of Georgia’s Bibb County Cooperative Extension secured $69,000 in grant funding from the USDA Farm Service Agency to address heir property risk factors in Bibb County and target landowners in Marion, Wilkes and Crawford counties. The project identified the following areas of need specific to the target audience:

  • In-depth personalized training on estate planning.
  • Technical assistance on long-term planning strategies such as planning for incapacity, asset organization, disposition of assets, wealth planning for future generations, role of executor and probate.
  • Technical assistance with the development of basic components of an estate plan, specifically power of attorney, financial, advance health care directives and last will and testament.

As a result, the program has completed 61 estate plans for Georgia residents from 18 counties. More than 470 acres of land valued at $3.3 million, 47 homes valued at $6.6 million and seven businesses valued at more than $800,000 were secured through estate plans. Additionally, attorneys working with the project contributed more than $14,000 in in-kind donations, and participants completed more than 160 hours of direct education.

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