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Georgia Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Asset Protection and Probate Attorneys

Pyke & Associates, P.C.

340 Corporate Center Court
Atlanta GA keyword

Stockbridge, Georgia 30281

Phone(770) 507-2500
Fax (770) 507-2501

Law Firm Overview

The Attorneys at Pyke & Associates, P.C. have been providing quality estate planning documents for Atlanta residents since 1991. They have been able to reach thousands of people who are concerned about protecting their families from the devastating legal effects of disability and death.



Pyke & Associates, P.C. - Providing services in the following areas of law:

Articles Published by Pyke & Associates, P.C.

 Basics of Asset Protection

Asset protection is the safeguarding of your physical and financial property against creditor judgments, negligence lawsuits, and divorcing spouses

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 How is Medicaid Different from Medicare?

The Federal government created both Medicaid and Medicare to assist some Americans with the high cost of health care

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 How to Avoid the Gift Tax

Did you know that gifting assets can reduce your estate taxes? You must, however, abide by gift tax laws, or you could owe tax for gifted items.

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 Basics of Medicare

Medicare, health insurance for elderly and disabled Americans, is a large system that can seem confusing. Here are some basics to help you understand all types of Medicare.

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 Role and Responsibilities of a Personal Representative

A Personal Representative (sometimes called an administrator or an executor) is a person who is given the responsibility of settling the estate of a deceased person. A personal representative can be nominated by the individual who makes a Will or appointed by a court handling the probate proceedings in the event there is no Will.

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 Estate Plan - Common Mistakes You Don’t Want

Although everyone’s estate plan is unique,there are a number of common mistakes that can cause your loved ones unnecessary grief down the road. Here’s just a few of the mistakes people make when planning their estate:

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 Planning for Medical Emergencies

Planning for a medical emergency is one of the most important things you can do for you and your family. After all, life is unpredictable and even healthy people can suddenly become ill. Add to that the possibility of an accident or unexpected disability and you see how you could suddenly find yourself incapacitated, unable to make decisions about your life and your property.

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 Your Former Spouse and Social Security Benefits

Did you know an ex-spouse can receive Social Security benefits on your record? A lot of people are not aware of this rule. However, there are some conditions that must be met before an ex-spouse can do this. In order for your ex to collect benefits based on your record, the following conditions have to be met.

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 Social Security Basics

If you are like many Americans, you are concerned about the future of the Social Security retirement program. Warnings about the fate of the program make headlines on a regular basis. The program is clearly in trouble, but how much trouble? Can you expect to receive benefits when you reach retirement age?

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 How your Loved Ones May Suffer if You Fail to Plan for your Death

If you have a family or loved ones who mean a lot to you, then you owe it to them to plan ahead in the event of your untimely death. Tragedy or illness can strike at any time. If it strikes you, what will happen to your family and/or loved ones? The answer to that question depends, in large part, to whether or not you took the time to plan ahead.

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 Signs of Elder Abuse - How to Protect Your Loved Ones

If you are one of the millions of Americans who has an elderly family member in the care of someone outside the family you likely worry about the quality of their care on a regular basis. Although accurate statistics are difficult to come by because experts believe that a significant percentage of actual abuse and neglect of the elderly goes unreported, estimates are that over two million elderly Americans are abused or neglected every year by caregivers.

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 Dealing With the Death of a Family Member - Common Steps That Must Be Taken

As much as we all wish that we would never be faced with the death of a close family member, it may happen at some point in time. In the midst of your emotional grief, you may be the person who also has to deal with the practical aspects of the death as well. Someone has to step forward and take control. If that person is you, then knowing some of the common things that may need to be done may help you get through the process.

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 The Larry Hillblom Story - Case in Point for Updating Your Estate Plan

Although you may not be familiar with the name Larry Hillblom, you have probably used the company he founded or at least heard of it. Hillblom was one of the founding partners of the international shipping company DHL. In fact, the “H” stands for Hillblom. Hillblom is also famous for the multi-national legal battle over his estate that followed his death.

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 Efficient Philanthropy with Donor Advised Funds

Several months ago there was an interesting story that was floating around various Atlanta area news outlets about a challenge that was issued by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Buffet has famously announced his intention to give away most of his wealth to charity and he has, in fact, already donated about $8 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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 Make an Ethical Will Part of Your Legacy

When you are evaluating your assets and the heirs to whom you intend to make bequests, a lot of thoughts will invariably cross your mind. Money can do a lot, and being able to pass along financial resources to your family members after you pass away certainly provides you with a good bit of peace of mind.

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 A GST Can Reduce Heavy Estate Tax Erosion

When you are a child you are taught to understand right from wrong. Because so much effort is put into making this point to you, unfairness can seem like a very big deal when you are a youngster. Then, little by little, the landscape of childhood starts to pass away, and you come to understand that the way of the world as we know it is inherently unfair in some ways. But that doesn't mean you lose your ability to see right from wrong.

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 Waiting on an Inheritance that May Never Arrive

Surprisingly, many Americans are still counting on a family inheritance to support them during their golden years. This may be a seriously flawed estate plan. For centuries, families passed down the family fortune from one generation to the next. This was often done for pragmatic reasons. In many cases, the family wealth was the result of a family business -- a business that the next generation was expected to continue managing.

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 Battle of the Wills - What Happens When More than One Last Will and Testament Turns Up

Huguette Clark, a New York heiress with an estate valued at more than $400 million, died last year just shy of her 105th birthday. A Last Will and Testament executed by Clark in May of 2005 was entered into probate shortly after her death.

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 Passing on a Family Business

As the name implies, a family owned business is a business that remains in the family under ideal circumstances. If you are the owner of a family owned business, you have likely considered passing down your business to future generations in the event of your death. While the desire to pass down your business to the next generation is certainly understandable, it is not always the wise choice.

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 How to Choose Which Trust is Right for Your Estate

If you are one of the millions of people planning to utilize a trust in your estate plan, then you are likely trying to decide which type of trust will best suit your goals and objectives. Only a lengthy consultation with your estate planning attorney can help you to reach a final decision on the issue; however, there are questions that you may wish to answer prior to meeting with your attorney.

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 Estate Planning and Tax Consequences

Estate planning serves two very important functions. First, it allows you to decide what will happen to your estate assets upon your death. A secondhand corresponding, function is that estate planning allows you to structure those assets in a way that will minimize the tax consequences associated with the transfer of estate assets.

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 Probate Litigation -- How to Avoid It

Most people go to great lengths to avoid litigation of any sort; however, they often forget about the possibility of probate litigation, relying on the thought that they will not be around to worry about it. First, probate litigation often results from more than one person seeking control over the assets of, or right to make medical decisions for, someone who is living, but incapacitated, meaning you may very well still be around.

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 Updating Your Will -- There May Be More Reasons to Do So Than You Realize

Your Last Will and Testament is your only chance to decide what happens to your estate assets upon your death. It is the cornerstone of your estate plan -- the document from which all other estate planning tools flow. Once you have taken the time and effort to create your Will, don’t make the mistake of failing to update it when necessary.

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 Gift Tax Exemption and Exclusion

For anyone with a substantial estate, the never-ending search for mechanisms to transfer those estate assets without incurring estate taxes should include the use of both the gift tax exemption and the yearly gift tax exclusion. With estate taxes typically running at 35 percent or more, any tactic that can be employed in the estate planning arsenal to avoid the payment of estate taxes should be considered.

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 Hollywood Highlights the Need for Estate Planning

Most of us listen to the never-ending stories about money disputes in Hollywood and shrug them off as having no relevance to our lives. While most don’t, there are some lessons to be learned from some of the infamous Hollywood money disputes that make the headlines on a regular basis. Take, for example, the recent death of music legend Etta James. The last year of James’ life can be an example for all of us about the importance of estate planning.

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 Estate Tax Parameters Subject to Change

After you pass away, the transfer of assets to your loved ones may seem like a relatively simple and straightforward task. It should be but the realities of the tax code can make it rather challenging to avoid a significant portion of your legacy being consumed by the IRS.

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 Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Basics

Estate planning has truly become an art form. Along with deciding who will receive what when you die you must attempt to create a plan that limits or avoids estate taxes and the often lengthy probate process. For those with an estate of considerable value, an irrevocable life insurance trust, or ILIT, is an estate planning tool worthy of consideration.

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 Grantor Retained Annuity Trust

In the never-ending quest to pass down assets without paying the often exorbitant estate taxes due on estate assets, a grantor retained annuity trust or GRAT, can be an attractive option. Although a GRAT has very specific rules that must be adhered to in order to benefit from the trust, the benefits can be substantial.

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 Estate Taxes - How to Plan Your Estate to Avoid Them

Most people are accustomed to taking into account the tax ramifications of purchases expenses and investments as they apply to personal income taxes; however, estate taxes can potentially have an even bigger impact, yet are often forgotten.

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 Estate Planning Basics

Many people hear the term “estate planning «and immediately think it doesn’t apply to them. After all, estate planning, is only for the rich or the elderly, right? Wrong. Basic estate planning is a necessity for everyone. As you age, or your estate grows, you can revise your estate plan to include more complex tools. Understanding some of the most basic estate planning tools, can help you on your comprehensive estate plan and should be started, preferably, early on in life.

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 Choosing a Nursing Home for Your Loved One

At some point in your life you may have a loved one who requires the care and attention that only a nursing home can provide. The decision to place your loved one in a nursing home is never reached easily. Once you have reached the decision, it is important to choose the best nursing home possible for your loved one’s care.

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 How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help Me?

Although we may dread the aging process, most of us hope to live long enough to enjoy our “golden years». If you still have many years to go before your own “golden years», there is a good chance that you have a loved one who is currently enjoying his or hers.

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 Incapacity Planning Documents

Atlanta elder law attorneys can help you get prepared for all the eventualities of aging, and it is truly best to have a comprehensive plan in place. When people get interested in estate planning they invariably recognize that they may well experience a period of incapacity before passing away, and this is something to recognize and address through the execution of the proper documents.

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 Repeal of Estate Tax is a Possibility

When the tax relief measure was signed into law in December that extended the Bush era tax cuts the estate tax parameters were affected. If the Bush cuts would have been allowed to sunset with no new legislation having been passed the estate tax would have returned to the 2001 level of 55%, and the estate tax exclusion would have been just $1 million. Instead we now have a $5 million exclusion and a 35% maximum rate of taxation.

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 What Will Your Social Security Benefit Be?

If you are like most people when you're planning for your retirement, Social Security is going to be a factor. The majority of Americans polled say that their Social Security benefit is going to be their primary source of income when their working years are behind them.

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 An Intelligent Response to Estate Tax

On the surface it would seem as though you no longer have to worry about the estate tax if your estate is worth $5 million or less. Unfortunately, this is not completely true because the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 is going to expire at the end of 2012.

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 Budget Woes

It is important to recognize the fact that Atlanta estate planning is an ongoing process because if there's one inevitability in life it is that of change. If you get started planning your estate early enough it is very likely that you will be revisiting it consistently throughout your life. Sometimes the changes that take place are personal and specific to you, such as changes in marital status, a windfall of money, or the selling of a business.

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 When Planning Your Estate Remember Your Pets

It is easy to neglect some of the smaller details when you are planning your estate. Legacy planning is a truly profound endeavor as your final act of giving, and when you combine the logistics with the emotional aspects the sum total of all that you have to take into account is considerable.

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 Don't Underestimate Long-Term Care Expenses

Atlanta elder law attorneys must keep their fingers on the pulse of all of the trends that are relevant to planning for aging. One of the matters that has gotten the attention of the elder law community is that of the high and rising costs associated with long-term care.

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 MetLife Study Indicates Elder Financial Abuse is on the Rise

Elder financial abuse is one of the major issues that is a hot topic in elder law circles at the present time. Though it is hard for reasonable people to understand how anyone could target vulnerable senior citizens, it is something that happens with alarming frequency. The MetLife Mature Market Institute does a lot of very valuable work that shines a spotlight on matters of interest to seniors.

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 Atlanta Estate Planning

There is a lot more to estate planning than simply writing out a last will. As a matter fact, a lot of people find that using a last will as their primary vehicle of asset transfer is not in their best interests. There are other ways to transfer assets to your family members after you pass away, and the best combination is going to vary depending on the specific nature of your situation.

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 Have You Considered Your Final Arrangements?

Focusing on the well being of your family is key when you are engaged in Atlanta estate planning. As we all know, making sure that your assets are transferred to your heirs in an efficient manner is at the core of the exercise. But there are other details that go along with the territory, and if you don't identify and address them you can be leaving your family members in a challenging situation.

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 Estate Tax

There are a lot of things about the estate tax that many people simply can't digest, and this is why there is always pressure being applied from some quarters to repeal the tax permanently. At the top of the list is the fact that the estate tax is imposed on assets that you have been able to accumulate after paying taxes throughout your life.

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 Planning for Retirement

Everyone who has a pulse is well aware of the fact that the federal debt is a matter of great concern. Back at the beginning of August a deal was struck to raise the debt ceiling, but it came with an agreement to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. A bipartisan congressional group that is being called the "super committee" is charged with the responsibility of coming up with a plan to achieve this goal.

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 Estate Plan Alterations Are Usually Necessary

If you are like many people, you may have been first exposed to estate planning as a young adult without necessarily even realizing it. Life insurance is one of the foundational building blocks of many estate plans, and when you start your career you are usually going to be offered life insurance as one of your benefits.

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 Why Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney?

Whether you are newly married and thinking about having children, well into middle age and thinking of future grandchildren or entering your golden years and worried about your own well-being, making plans for your estate in the event of your death or incapacity is a wise decision.

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 Raiders Will Be Guided by Mark and Carol Davis

Al Davis, the longtime owner of the Oakland Raiders, passed away on October 8 at his Oakland residence at the age of 82. The Raiders have fallen on hard times of late, but Al Davis crafted a legacy of winning over his 40 years as Raiders owner. The Raiders won an American Football League championship back before the merger, and after the NFL and AFL merged they captured three Super Bowl titles.

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 Estate Planning: Americans Surprisingly Unprepared

If you are one who is prone to procrastination, you are not alone. A lot of people in Fayette County place things on the back burner intending to get to them another day. We live busy lives and you have to prioritize things and this is quite understandable. But it is important to have your priorities in order.

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