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estate planning Archives

The elements of an estate plan

Some Ohio residents may have hesitated to create an estate plan because the subject is an uncomfortable one, but it can be a way of making a person's passing less difficult for family members. There are a number of different elements to an estate plan. Wills and trusts can be used to pass assets down to loved ones. A will may also appoint a guardian for minor children.

Trusts as estate planning tools

Most Ohio residents automatically think of a will when it comes time to plan their estates. Wills allow testators to name who they want to receive their property when they pass on, but they are limited in some ways. Upon the death of a testator, beneficiaries will receive their bequests in one distribution. With a trust, people can have a lot more flexibility.

Choosing people to carry out an estate plan

For many Ohio residents, the process of estate planning is too often undertaken with a narrow focus on providing instructions, yet there is an equally great need to focus on the people chosen to carry out those instructions. Estate plans can contain such wide-ranging choices as the naming of a guardian for children, health care and financial powers of attorney in case of incapacity, an executor under a will, and a trustee to manage assets in a trust. Rather than choosing haphazardly, Ohio residents are encouraged to select trusted people whose traits conform to the demands of these roles.

Estate planning and President Trump's new tax policies

Because of considerable changes that President Trump may be making in regards to the US tax policy, many Ohio residents might delay taking estate-planning measures. However, since many estate-planning components, such as irrevocable trusts, offer several advantages besides tax benefits, it may be a good idea for people to begin taking steps toward fulfilling their estate-planning goals, regardless of how the tax debate in Washington is settled.

The importance of estate planning for people without children

Some people in Ohio might think that because they are single or have no children, an estate plan is not necessary. However, complications for unmarried people or those without children still occur. Generally, state laws will pass decedents' assets onto their spouses and children if there is no will, and this often correctly reflects the intentions of the deceased individual. However, if a couple without children dies within minutes of one another, the family of the spouse who died last may receive all the assets. In an unmarried couple, the deceased's siblings might get all assets, leaving his or her partner with nothing.

Many Ohio residents have no estate plan

Close to 60 percent of American adults have prepared no legal documents to specify what should happen with their assets if they die. According to a study, just 42 percent of themhave an estate planning document completed. For individuals who have minor children, only 36 percent had an end-of-life plan.

Making gifts to children

Ohio parents often desire to pass wealth to the next generation. Their intentions, however, might be frustrated if a married heir gets a divorce, taxes run high, real estate expenses become onerous, creditors make claims or young heirs act irresponsibly. Careful planning could install protections against these situations.

How some Republican proposals might affect estate plans

Ohio residents may want to consider how Donald Trump's election and the Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate might affect their estate plans. Understanding the proposed changes and incorporating clauses in their plans might help them to avoid some potentially detrimental impacts.

Estate planning for farm owners

Farm owning families in Ohio often take a great deal of pride in the land they own and the work they do. In many cases, farmers would like to keep their land in the family and wish to pass it down to their children. While this is an understandable desire, there are situations in which family members have had protracted disagreements over how farmland should be used and managed.

Factors like resident status could impact estate planning

Ohio residents may need to take special steps to ensure that their beneficiaries receive properties like homes if these individuals haven't applied for permanent residency. Experts say that although undocumented immigrants can inherit properties and own homes, the legal system and modern economic realities favor those who actually hold proper citizenship or some other formalized immigration status.

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