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.
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.
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.
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.
Regardless of how much property they may own, Ohio adults should have a last will and testament. Having a will is necessary, even if one owns only a vehicle or a checking account. Having a vast estate is not a requirement for completing a will. Wills are intended for loved ones who are left behind and so that there will be someone who can properly distribute whatever the decedent owned. Dying without a wills means that a loved one will have to verify his or her relationship to the deceased person, attend probate court and be appointed the administrator.
Some Ohio couples are choosing not to have children and are instead focused on their careers. While people might think that estate planning is only important for people who want to pass their properties on to successive generations, it is also very important for those who do not have children as well.
There may not be many Ohio residents who viewed Hugh Hefner as a role model in life. However, he may have been a perfect example of how to create a proper estate plan. In 2010, it was revealed that he had a net worth of $43 in addition to the value of his Playboy real estate and stock holdings. In 2011, that stock was purchased for $207 million.
A joint research paper by law schools at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and UC Berkeley indicates that 83 percent of consumers believe they own digital content in the same fashion that they own material things. That is rarely the case though, according to the authors of the study. Ownership issues come up frequently with regard to digital media, and the lack of understanding can be most important when the purchaser of the content passes away.
While a will may be an effective part of an Ohio resident's estate plan, it not necessarily sufficient on its own. For instance, assets such as an individual retirement account or a life insurance policy will not pass to a beneficiary under a will. Assets such as those will go to a person who has been specifically named a beneficiary of those accounts.
Planned giving is an approach to estate planning that allows people to start making charitable gifts while they are still alive. Ohio individuals, their families and their communities may all benefit from planned giving over a long period of time.