What Are Legal Documents Essential of an Ohio Estate Plan?
Each estate plan is unique and requires its own set of documents depending on your wishes and what you want to protect and pass to your loved ones after death. Some essential legal documents commonly used in an Ohio estate plan are a will, trust, advance healthcare directive, and powers of attorney.
Understanding Last Will and Testament in Ohio
This legal document provides directions to your survivors regarding your wishes for asset and property distribution upon your death. If you have minor children, your will also designate their guardians. Your Ohio will also inform the court which individuals are entitled to your Ohio estate. The document’s instructions do not affect you during your lifetime. However, it’s a good idea to keep your family members and friends updated on its contents to avoid any confusion later on.
Understanding Ohio Trusts
There are many different types of trusts, and they can be either revocable or irrevocable. Trusts often provide key tax benefits while allowing you to maintain a certain level of control over your property and assets. Typically, you would name a trustee or co-trustee to oversee your trust administration.
Understanding Advance Healthcare Directive in Ohio
You may have particular wishes related to the medical treatment you would and would not like to receive in certain circumstances. An Ohio advance healthcare directive, also known as power of attorney for healthcare, provides clear directions for your loved ones to follow if you cannot make decisions for yourself due to incapacitation. You may revoke this directive at any time.
Understanding Ohio Durable Power of Attorney
This arrangement allows you to name another person, called an agent, to oversee your financial or business affairs if you become ill or incapacitated. Your agent should be someone you trust to make good decisions on your behalf. Again, you may revoke a power of attorney arrangement at any time.
It’s Essential to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones with an Estate Plan
Everyone needs an estate plan to protect their family. An estate plan is critical regardless of your age, marital status, or the size of your assets. No two families are alike; thus, no two estate plans are alike. Seif & McNamee, LLC will tailor an estate plan to meet your specific needs and goals. We create simple or complex wills, trusts, probate avoidance tools or techniques, and power of attorney agreements.
A carefully constructed estate plan that is frequently updated will avoid excess taxes and ensure the fulfillment of your final wishes. Often, your savings on Ohio estate taxes will far exceed the costs of attorney’s fees for a comprehensive estate plan. A will or trust is critical if you have minor children to clarify who is to care for your children upon your death and ensure they are financially provided for until they reach an appropriate age.
What Happens if You Don’t Have an Ohio Estate Plan?
The failure to have a comprehensive plan can cause distress to your loved ones. This distress is an inevitable and unfortunate result of failing to plan your final affairs properly, which compounds stress in their time of grief. Especially when you consider that a up to date estate plan will alleviate most, if not all, of your family’s stress about your final wishes for all your Ohio assets and liabilities after you are gone.
Without an Estate Plan, Your Loved Ones Could Face Ohio Probate Court
Probate in Ohio is usually a lengthy, expensive process where beneficiaries acquire the title and ownership of assets from a deceased relative or friend. Once the probate court determines a person’s right to personal or real property, this decision is final, and the court will recognize no future claims against your estate. The transfer of assets through the Ohio probate process is often the least convenient, inefficient, slow, and most costly option.
What Happens in Probate Court?
Probate is the formal process the court uses to resolve an estate after a person’s death. The court validates your last will and testament and allows your estate executor to pay all debts and distribute assets to your beneficiaries. If you do not have a will, the court may assign someone — usually a close relative — to serve as your administrator (similar to an executor, but they will be required to obtain a performance bond from an insurance provider). It’s best to have a will in place so that you can control how your assets and property get distributed after you pass away.
Our expert estate planning lawyers can help minimize or eliminate the need for Ohio probate if your plan is complete and properly maintained. Unfortunately, some family situations cannot avoid probate, requiring the process to ensure the deceased’s final wishes despite a detailed and well-planned estate plan.
The Value of Working with an Ohio Estate Planning Lawyer
Seif & McNamee, LLC is here to help you and your loved ones understand business law, personal injury, estate planning, elder law, probate, collections, and municipal law. Our experienced Ohio lawyers are here to help you accomplish more. We welcome you to contact our Chillicothe or Waverly law firm to learn more about how we can help you achieve favorable results in business and personal legal matters in Southern Ohio, statewide, and across the Midwest.