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estate planning Archives

Tips for creating an estate plan

Ideally, Ohio residents will begin the process of estate planning as soon as possible. An estate is made up of anything that a person owns either jointly or on his or her own. By creating an estate plan while in good health, it may make it easier to obviate the need for a conservatorship or guardianship. Anyone 18 or older may benefit from starting the estate plan process.

How tax laws may change estate planning

People in Ohio who created their estate plans with the intention of avoiding estate tax might want to take another look at that plan. At the end of 2017, Congress passed a tax bill that raised the estate tax to more than $22 million for married couples and more than $11 million for individuals. This means that for some people, the best plan might simply be to leave assets to the surviving spouse. However, there still might be reasons that people whose estates fall under the exemption amount might want to use a bypass trust or other tools.

What beneficiaries should know about their inheritances

There are many reasons people may opt not to discuss their assets with individuals to whom they plan to gift them too when they die. However, Ohio parents who plan to leave an inheritance for their children may want to make sure that the beneficiaries are prepared to receive it and are able to make the important decisions that may come with it.

Accounting for bitcoin in an estate plan

Bitcoins are a virtual currency that some Ohio residents may have heard of. Those who own this currency control it through a virtual private key. If the owner doesn't disclose where this key is, the assets could effectively be lost forever. The same is true if there are no instructions for how to use the key to access the coins.

Why tax changes should prompt an estate plan review

Changes in tax law may present an opportune time for Ohio residents to meet with an adviser to review their estate plans. Even if people don't think that the tax law changes will mean anything to their estate plan, it is still worth going over it anyway. In some cases, individuals may find that their plan no longer meets their needs for reasons other than adjustments to the tax code.

Turning assets into a legacy

Some Ohio residents who are creating an estate plan might just think of it in terms of leaving assets for family members. However, estate planning can be approached as legacy planning, and the ideas that underpin this are old ones. One 15th century play involves a character who learns he can only take knowledge and good deeds with him after death. These are essentially what a person leaves behind for family and friends.

How to deal with digital assets in an estate plan

As one of the states that have adopted the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Revised (RUFADAA), Ohio offers protections for fiduciaries that allow them to access a dead person's digital assets. In the past, a fiduciary had access to a person's financial and personal documents after that person's death, but the issue of digital access is more complicated.

The benefits of a charitable trust

When going through the estate planning process, Ohio residents often consider charitable giving. The concept is beneficial for several reasons. First, it is a morally benevolent thing to do. In addition, for those with larger estates, the charitable deduction can help descendants save on estate taxes. For those considering charitable giving as a part of their plan, a charitable trust may be a wise option.

Estate planning as part of a legacy

Some people in Ohio may have heard the phrase "legacy planning" used interchangeably with "estate planning" or wondered what the difference in the two is. They might be uncomfortable with the term "legacy planning" because it seems to imply something grander than estate planning that involves the ego, significant wealth or a controlling approach.

Reducing the odds of estate plan complications during divorce

During a divorce, it may be a good idea for Ohio residents and others to review their estate plan. Failing to do so could result in having an unintended beneficiary to one or more assets. For instance, if a former spouse is named the sole or largest beneficiary to a trust, that person could receive money or other assets inside of it instead of family members.

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