Many Ohio couples live together but don't get married. However, just because someone doesn't have a spouse or children is no reason to avoid creating an estate plan. In fact, it may make it more important to create one. For example, if a person is incapacitated and unable to make certain health care decisions, a partner may not be able to make them on that person's behalf.
Ohio residents who are preparing their estate plan should not neglect the step of talking to their family members about it. In many cases, despite careful planning, assets are lost and conflicts are serious after a person's death. Therefore, communication can be as important as this planning in ensuring that a person's wishes are carried out.
One purpose of an estate plan for Ohio residents may be addressing family conflict. This conflict may spring from disputes over property, or it may be a more longstanding interpersonal dispute. Some people might avoid creating an estate plan because of this, but this only means that when the estate is settled, there will be even more. Working with professionals in creating an estate plan may help people find ways they were unaware of to resolve this.
When an Ohio resident creates a will, there may not be room to include that person's final wishes in the will itself. However, it may be possible to expand upon the testator's thought process or include other notes in what is referred to as a letter of final wishes. This letter may be the perfect place to explain why one person got a larger share of the estate or where the passwords to social media accounts are being kept.
For estate planning purposes, it is important to make sure that an Ohio person's wishes regarding how assets are distributed are reflected in plans for the non-probate assets as well as in the will. Non-probate assets are assets such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts that are passed down by beneficiary designations. Real property that is jointly owned and joint accounts with rights of survivorship are also examples of non-probate assets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.