“It gives people peace of mind. It’s something they don’t have to worry about anymore.”
Most people know they should prepare a will, but estate planning is one of those tasks people keep putting off. “People who die without a will typically do so just because of procrastination,” said attorney Steve Emert, whose Sugarloaf Parkway practice specializes in estate planning, real estate, and business transactions.
“Having a will is really more important for your family and loved ones than for you. They are the ones who are going to be affected by it. It really eases the grieving process and the transfer of assets if you have planned for it,” Emert said. “Many people want to leave things to charity or leave assets to their children and grandchildren, and if you don’t plan for it, what you want might not occur.”
Emert Law Firm LLC makes the estate planning process as painless as possible, starting with a free initial planning session, where Emert will meet with the client, discuss what he or she wants to accomplish, go over assets and begin to draft a plan. “I explain the probate process and how wills and trusts work. I present several options for them to consider. I let them tell me what they want, and I only try to dissuade them if what they want is not a good idea for them.”
Most people simply want to make sure their assets go to their children or grandchildren, he said. Occasionally, someone wants to make sure a beloved pet will be taken care of, and Emert has created trusts to cover pet care.
The word “estate” might conjure visions of something grand, “but really if you own anything when you die, it’s your estate, whether it is $10 or $10 million. You want to give your heirs some idea of what you want to do with it,” he said. For modest estates, a will is enough, but Emert finds trusts are a great tool for managing assets before and after death.
In addition to having a will or trust, it’s never too early to begin estate planning, he said. “Someone fresh out of college with a job isn’t thinking about this, but they should have a will. They can always update it or modify it.” In addition to having a will, he recommends preparing an advanced directive for health care and a financial power of attorney.
Emert has lived in Gwinnett since he was a teenager. He played football for Dacula High and returned to the county after completing law school. “I like the diversity of the people and all the different cultures that are represented here.” He enjoys traveling and has visited countries throughout Europe and Asia. Some of the travel was recreational, and some, including a trip to Sri Lanka to help with tsunami relief, was mission work with 12Stone Church.
To learn more about Emert’s services or to schedule a meeting to discuss estate planning, call 678-288-2010 or visit
Emert Law Firm LLC
6340 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097