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.
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.
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.
If an Ohio resident owes back child support, it may result in a lien being placed on a future inheritance. Typically, only a back tax debt would take priority over a lien resulting from a child support judgment. Therefore, an executor could be forced to liquidate assets such as a home and make a payment to the party overseeing the child support payments. This is generally true even if multiple names are on the title to such an asset.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.