Authors: Brad Coppedge

COLUMBUS, GA – September 2, 2020 – Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (HBS) has added Attorney Amber N. Crawford to its Columbus office. Amber focuses her practice on estate planning, probate, guardianships and conservatorships, business transactions, commercial real estate and fiduciary matters. Prior to joining HBS, Amber spent several years at a firm in Newnan, Georgia, where she specialized in probate and estate planning, represented creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Written by Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. I. In General. Probate is generally a relatively simple process in Georgia and Alabama, if you have a valid Will.  It is much less of a hassle to administer an estate under a Will, and your fiduciary (termed an “Executor” under a Will) has broad powers.  Without a Will, the person who petitions the court to administer your estate (the “Administrator”) will often have

Written by: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. With the current coronavirus pandemic, what planning steps should you be taking? From an estate planning attorney’s perspective, it is actually business as usual, but perhaps with an added element of priority. Everyone’s goal right now should be first and foremost the health and safety of ourselves, our family and others, but this pandemic also reminds us of the importance, and in some

Written by: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. As parents, we always have our children’s best interests at the forefront of our minds.  And we usually try to do anything we can for our children.  However, many might take for granted the authority we have had as a parent for the last 18 years. How often have you called the bank on the student account or credit card they have that

Written by: Bradley R. Coppedge,Esq. In the stress and aftermath of a divorce, whether amicable or contested, an often overlooked topic is the importance of promptly updating one’s estate plan.  Failure to do so can lead to some unintended or even unbearable consequences. Let’s take a look at some of the key issues… 1) Last Will and Testament.  As I’ve said many other times, everyone needs a Will. (See my January

By: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (“UTMA” or the “Act”) of each state provides for the management, use and disposition of property gifted or otherwise transferred to a minor. The provisions of the Act apply to a transfer that makes reference to the Act as adopted by each state (e.g., the “Georgia Transfers to Minors Act”) in the designation of the transfer. These accounts

There have been a lot of changes in the estate tax laws in the last several years.  We now have an exemption amount of $11,180,000, and it is portable between spouses in most instances.  This combination of amount, and portability, has virtually eliminated true “estate tax planning” for the vast majority of individuals. However, there remain individuals with high net worth, for whom “estate tax planning” remains very relevant. 

By: Bradley R. Coppedge Asset Protection Planning is only for the wealthy, right?  No, it can be just as useful for the young couple with relatively little net worth as it is for the multi-millionaire! Asset protection planning does not have to be overly complicated, or overly expensive, to provide you and your family meaningful protections. When you think of Asset Protection Planning, what comes to mind?  Some fancy and complex

By: Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq.  1. What is the purpose behind a guardianship or conservatorship? Guardianships and conservatorships are actions of last resort to manage an incompetent or incapacitated person’s personal and financial affairs if that person is unable to do so due to mental or physical illness, disability or incompetency. These proceedings can be used both for incompetent adults (over age 18), and minor children, whether competent or incompetent (under

By: Bradley R. Coppedge A petition for Year’s Support is a proceeding in probate court regarding a decedent’s estate.   It is sometimes used instead of one of the other common procedures to administer an estate or probate a Will, but it is not mutually exclusive of those other proceedings. Some attorneys over use Year’s Support petitions, while other attorneys do not consider  them frequently enough. Let’s start with what it is