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estate planning Archives

How to create the proper estate plan

In many cases, Ohio estate owners want their assets to last for as long as possible. This could mean that the wealth lives on for generations after the individual who acquired it passes away. However, not all fortunes will be used properly by subsequent generations. Using estate plan documents can increase the odds that assets are used correctly and by as many heirs as desired.

Get an estate plan in order with step-by-step goals

Financial advisers recommend that people in Ohio set up an estate plan based on four important elements. They should have a will, financial power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney and advance healthcare directive. These basic documents could help prevent problems when people become incapacitated due to disease or injury and direct the distribution of an estate after death. Although people might feel tempted to put off estate planning, they could overcome procrastination by setting priorities and pursuing goals step by step.

The importance of naming the right trustee

A trust may serve a number of different purposes for an Ohio resident. It may be used to allow assets to increase in value while deferring taxes. It may also be used to allow the grantor to specify conditions for distribution such as the beneficiary reaching a certain age. The grantor can also state the goal of the trust such as paying for the education of loved ones.

How to get a copy of a deceased person's will

When a parent dies in Ohio, a child could be entitled to a portion of the deceased's estate. This is true even if the parent dies intestate, or without a will. If a house or other property was put into a child's name, that generally belongs to the child regardless of claims others make to it.

The probate process and asset distribution

Many people in Ohio thinking about the steps needed to care appropriately for their family and their assets after death may wonder what exactly happens during the probate process. Supervised by a court, probate allows a last will and testament to be officially authenticated where one exists; when there is no will, probate can also deal with the distribution of assets according to state law. The process is not limited to the will: It can also include valuing all of the deceased person's assets, paying off bills and taxes and then distributing the assets that remain.

Trusts can be altered to reflect changing circumstances

Trusts can serve a valuable purpose for people in Ohio who want to manage their estates in order to avoid probate and preserve the maximum value of their beneficiaries' inheritances. However, over time, the intentions and desires of the creator of a trust can change. When this happens, individuals may be unsure if it is possible to make a change to their trust documents and how they can ensure that it is properly recorded.

Estate planning documents require regular review

Many people in Ohio want to think about estate planning all at once and then set those documents aside for the future. Going over one's estate plan can be practically and emotionally difficult for many people. However, in order to ensure that one's assets are protected and loved ones properly taken care of, it can be important to perform a regular review of the documents, including wills, trusts and non-probate items, that comprise a person's estate plan.

Reasons to use a trust to leave assets to adult children

It is not uncommon for people to create trusts to protect assets for their minor children, but they might not think about doing the same for their adult children. However, there are a number of reasons that Ohio parents who are creating an estate plan might want to consider a trust for assets left to adult children as well.

Use more than just a will for estate planning

Having an estate plan that consists of just a will is one mistake Ohio residents should avoid. There are multiple documents that should be in place to ensure that medical decisions made on people's behalf if they become incapacitated are in accordance with their wishes and that their assets are protected and managed well after they die. Typical legal documents that are part of a complete estate plan can include advanced health directives and powers of attorney in addition to a will.

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