Most people have heard by now that famed television and film actor Luke Perry recently passed away after suffering a stroke that left him on life support. While his loved ones are now celebrating his life and mourning his loss, they may also be turning to his estate plan to determine how his assets will be distributed. This is no small task, considering his estate is estimated to be worth $10 million.
Life requires us to do many things, as it encompasses much. Estate planning can touch on many parts of an individual's life. It can dictate who will make important financial and health care decisions in the event of an individual's incapacitation, and it, of course, can layout how assets will be distributed upon death. Those assets typically include a family home, bank accounts, retirement accounts and family heirlooms. Yet, as our world becomes more and more digitized, Ohio residents should ensure they don't neglect their digital assets when engaging in estate planning.
Planning and preparing for the future is often considered a must. Most Ohio residents have a general concept of estate planning. To many of them, a will is enough to satisfy their needs. However, even the most basic of wills needs to be carefully drafted to ensure that there are no mistakes or ambiguities that could lead to the distribution of an estate that is counter to one's wishes. Yet, while care must be taken during the initial drafting process, it must also be applied when updating an estate plan. This includes modifying or changing a will.
Most Ohioans who engage in basic estate planning think that they will simply divide their assets evenly amongst their loved ones. While this can be done, the matter is not always as easy as it sounds. Whereas assets like bank accounts, stocks and bonds are easy to cash and divide accordingly, other pieces of property, such as art and family heirlooms, are more difficult to divide, if they are meant to be divided at all. These are sometimes referred to as hard assets.
Most Ohio residents who think of estate planning think of taking the steps necessary so that, when they pass away, they have preserved their wealth for their loved ones. While this is certainly a big part of estate planning, it is not the only consideration that must be made. There may come a time when one is suddenly unable to make important healthcare and financial decisions, including those related to estate planning, due to their condition. When this happens, they may want to make sure that their affairs are left to someone they trust.
If you've given any thought to estate planning, then your first thought may be with regard to how best to ensure that your immediate loved ones such as your spouse and your children can be financially protected upon your passing. For most individuals, this means drafting a simple will to ensure that assets can be passed down without having to go through the long, drawn-out, and sometimes costly probate process.
The idea behind estate planning is that, through careful consideration, individuals can create legal documents that dictate how their assets will be distributed upon their death. This can be of the utmost importance to those who don't want their assets to pass in accordance with applicable laws. Therefore, if an individual wants his or her real estate to pass to a grandchild, then that provision needs to be included in an estate planning document if he or she does not want a spouse or child to receive it.
To many Ohioans, estate planning is a difficult topic to broach. One reason is because many individuals are afraid to confront their own mortality. Another common reason for procrastination is a fundamental misunderstanding of estate planning. We hope to make the topic easier to think about and increase your understanding of estate planning, so you can feel comfortable developing an estate plan that meets your and your family's needs.
Many people in Ohio know they need an estate plan, but do not know where to start. Those who are unfamiliar with the process can find estate planning overwhelming. There are often numerous legal documents involved, and major decisions regarding health care and to whom assets should be left need to be made. For many, this causes them to simply procrastinate, putting off the whole process until a later time. Unfortunately, far too many individuals never get around to creating an estate plan, which can cost their loved one's a significant amount of time, money, and heartache.