Hurley Elder Care Law Newsletter - February 2017
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February 2017   Where is the Original Will?    

“Yesterday I left the probate court feeling really discouraged. My aunt had a small estate, but the court refused to accept a copy of her will.  I've made several attempts to locate an original of the will, but I don't have one—only copies.  In the absence of an original, what can I do?  What will they accept?”

Our office often receives questions like this from family members trying to close out a deceased relative’s estate.  The arduous task of probating an estate can be simplified if steps are taken proactively before death. The most important thing we can all do is talk with our close family and friends about our wishes, our assets, and the location of our important papers. These conversations, along with a thorough review of current estate planning documents to ensure their completeness and compliance with current law and personal wishes, can help minimize any problems at the time of probate.

In general, every person should have a will that does three basic things: name an executor; divide assets amongst heirs; and be properly executed (you’d be surprised by how many are never signed by the will-maker!). After a death has occurred, the original will has to be shown to the probate court. If the original signed document is lost, the Georgia Probate Courts may be willing to accept the copy as if it were an original, but the presumption is that if the original is not available, it was revoked. This process begins with finding the witnesses and completing this document:  There is no guarantee that the courts will accept the copy, but this is how to start the process.

Oftentimes, a will cannot be found because one was never created. Even without a will, a deceased person’s estate must be probated, and state law then determines how the deceased person’s estate will be divided and who has rights to an inheritance. If a copy of the will is rejected, the person’s estate will be handled as if no will were ever created. The importance of creating a will and then sharing that information with loved ones cannot be overstated. It is useful to remember that not all assets are affected by the terms of a will. Bank accounts and retirement accounts that have designated beneficiaries transfer to the beneficiaries, without probate. Likewise, certain properties can be transferred to co-owners and not be affected by probate or a will.

If you are facing difficult probate situations or want to proactively create or update your estate planning documents to avoid probate issues, please call us at (404) 843-0121 for a complimentary phone consultation.

Family Business At Hurley Elder Care Law, we have great pride in our Atlanta sports teams, especially the Falcons. Grace had a viewing party at her house in Texas and Dawn’s family watched the Super Bowl from the deck of a cruise ship in the Panama Canal! Though we all were disappointed with the results, it was a great game and a Super Bowl we will all remember. We’ll get ‘em next year Falcons!
Upcoming Speaking Events:

Presentation on Georgia Advance Directives, 02/16/2017 at Brookdale Dunwoody, Presented by Michelle Allen
Please join Michelle Allen, LCSW, for a presentation of "Tough Conversations: Georgia Advance Directives” on Thursday, February 16, 2017. Participants will have an opportunity to complete their own Advance Directives. This event is open to everyone! Location: Brookdale Dunwoody, 1460 S. Johnson Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30319. Complimentary Dinner, Presentation & Questions from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. RSVP: or 404-592-0002.

CEU on “Capacity, Competency, and Ethical Interventions: A Legal Discussion for Healthcare Providers” at Berman Commons 02/22/2017, Presented by Danielle Humphrey
Please join Danielle Humphrey, JD, CELA, for a complimentary CEU where Ms. Humphrey will explain the difference between capacity and competency and provide guidelines for evaluation. CEUs available: 1 ethic or core hour for social workers (GA NASW); 1 contact hour for case managers (CCMC), 1 contact hour for RNs (TNA). Location: Berman Commons, 2026 Womack Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338 on February 22, 2017 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. RSVP at:

Complimentary Dinner CEU on “The Dementia Maze: Understanding the Options and Cost of Care” at Brookdale Chambrel Roswell on 02/28/2017, Presented by Miles Hurley
Please join Miles Hurley, JD, CELA, for a complimentary dinner CEU as he discusses "The Dementia Maze: Understanding the Options and Cost of Care." CEUs available:  1 core hour for social workers; 1 contact hour for case managers; 1 contact hour for RNs. Location: Brookdale Chambrel Roswell, Memory Care Building, 1000 Applewood Drive, Roswell, GA 30076. February 28, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. This event is currently full. If you would like to be added to the wait-list RSVP at:

Michelle Allen Presents a CEU on “Successful Nursing Home Placements” at The Fountainview Center, 3/28/17
Please join Michelle Allen, LCSW, of Hurley Elder Care Law, for a complimentary dinner CEU as she discusses: “Successful Nursing Home Placements.” CEUs available:  1 core hour for social workers; 1 contact hour for case managers, 1 contact hour for RNs. Location: The Fountainview Center for Alzheimer's Disease, 2631 North Druid Hills Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. Date and Time: Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Registration and Dinner 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.; CEU Education 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. This event is sponsored by The Fountainview Center for Alzheimer's Disease, Hurley Elder Care Law and Home Care Assistance. RSVP at:

Complimentary Dinner 2-hour CEU on “The Cost of Dementia: Implications of a Diagnosis” at Benton House Woodstock on 3/29/17, presented by Miles Hurley
Mr. Hurley will examine what legal documents should be in place and discuss whether a person with a dementia diagnosis may still sign legal documents. He will review what Medicare will pay for and if Medicaid may provide a solution.  In addition, a brief overview of the VA Aid and Attendance benefit will also be given. CEUs available:  2 core hours for social workers; 2 contact hours for case managers; 2 contact hours for RNs (TNA). Presentation is at Benton House Woodstock, 3385 Trickum Road, Woodstock, GA 30188 on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Registration & Dinner 4:30-5:00pm; 2-hour CEU 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. RSVP at:

For more details and a complete list of upcoming events, please visit Hurley Elder Care Law Community Education.
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Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA  Miles P. Hurley founded Hurley Elder Care Law in 2006 to provide legal assistance to the elderly population on issues relating to aging including retaining independence, quality of life and financial security. Mr. Hurley is one of ten attorneys in the state of Georgia to receive the Elder Law Attorney Certification, and one of approximately 400 nationwide. 
Hurley Elder Care Law is dedicated to the process of long-term care and estate planning. 
Call us today for a free phone consultation with a client coordinator at (404) 843-0121.
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Hurley Elder Care Law
100 Galleria Pkwy, Suite 650
Atlanta, GA 30339

Satellite Offices
2011 Commerce Dr. Suite 100, Peachtree City, GA 30269   
225 Creekstone Ridge, Woodstock, GA 30188       
2180 Satellite Blvd, Suite 400, Duluth, GA 30097

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