Estate Planning

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GOALS OF ESTATE PLANNING

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Developing a plan that will manage the personal care and financial matters of the client for a long term or in case of incapacity.

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Creating an Estate Plan that also allows the client to control the distribution of his/her property after his/her death for the benefit of the client's family and other chosen beneficiaries.

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Designing strategies into the plan that protect family assets from exposure to risks, such as creditors, or division of property in divorce proceedings.

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Using proven strategies that minimize estate taxes for the client and potentially for other members of the family.

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Utilizing the Estate Plan to avoid probate of the estate on the client's death.

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Promote business succession in a planned manner.

 

Some Important Estate Planning Documents Include:

bulletLast Wills & Testaments - a written document providing for Probate of property's distribution upon a person's decease.  Everyone should have a Will regardless of their estate's value.  You can name the Executor who is in charge of administering your estate and for other important provisions, such as naming a guardian for your minor children.

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Revocable Living Trusts - an Agreement funded with assets that avoids Probate, provides for long-term goals, and maintains secrecy. Please make certain your assets are titled to your Trust.

  1. Avoiding Probate
    One of the main benefits of having a Living Trust is that assets placed in it are not subject to probate administration, and thus avoids probate costs..

    The key benefits of avoiding Probate are avoiding the delays and costs of the probate administration process, the expenses associated with probate, and maintaining privacy.

  2. Expedited Asset Distribution
    Property held in a Living Trust can be administered much more rapidly than property in a Will subject to a probate proceeding.  A typical probate is at least twelve (12) months long.

  3. Confidentiality
    Trust Property is not directly subject to the claims of the deceased's unsecured creditors, for instance, credit cards, hospital bills and other non-secured debts, as there is no Public Forum and thus, no awareness of the Trust..

 

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Irrevocable Trusts - Agreements generally funded with life insurance that cannot be changed, which controls assets that are in your estate but are still excluded from your estate taxation.  This is a major benefit!
 

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Durable Powers of Attorney - appoints a person to act as your agent to make business or financial decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated or incompetent.  You can also use a "springing" durable power of attorney which only comes into effect at a specified time in the future in a specified situation to meet your wishes. 

bulletLiving Will Declarations - a document that allows you to die with dignity by making your critical medical decisions known in advance. 

Please note that without making your declaration known in writing, in Ohio you can remain on life support for at least a twelve-month minimum period before a court will grant an order to terminate support.  *SEE NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR IMPORTANT LIVING WILL INFORMATION.

 

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Health Care Powers of Attorney -   this document gives the person you designate the power to make MOST health care decisions for you, in the event you are unable later to make informed health care decisions for yourself.

 

Important Pointers:

bulletVerify the legal name that your assets are titled in.  
 
bulletReview your Estate Plan periodically, (at least every three (3) to five (5) years) as property and estate values change, families and relationships change, and laws change.