One of the biggest reasons to engage in estate planning is to provide for your loved ones. After all, who is in a better position to determine who would benefit most from your money than you? But estate planning isn't about handing over a check to your spouse or your children. Instead, the process allows you to retain control over your assets so that they can be utilized on your terms. This control is powerful in a number of ways, but it is most readily apparent when leaving assets to an individual who may be at risk of quickly depleting those assets.
The carrying out of an estate plan can be shrouded in grief. Family members of a deceased individual are often struggling to find a way to cope with their loss, which oftentimes brings families together. Yet, when the details of an estate plan come to light, family members sometimes find themselves in a state of confusion and disbelief. To these individuals, the terms of an estate plan are counter to their expectations and their beliefs of what the testator wanted for the estate. These situations often lead to litigation.
To many Ohioans, estate planning is nothing more than creating a simple will that equally divides their assets amongst their children. Although this is a commonly utilized estate planning strategy, it may be insufficient to meet an individual's needs. Failing to adequately address all legal issues pertaining to one's estate can lead to a long, drawn out and even contested distribution process.
Effective estate planning requires a certain amount of thoroughness and understanding of the law. Only by being diligent and holistic in your approach can you ensure that your estate will be distributed exactly how you want it to be. Those in Ohio who try to cut corners to save time and money during the estate planning and administration process may have their assets pass into the wrong hands, thereby failing to provide for their loved ones as they wished.
The estate planning process can be customized to meet your needs. If you simply want to ensure that your assets are evenly divided amongst your children, then a simple will may suffice. If you want to place conditions on the release of those assets and ensure that they provide long-term financial support, then one or more trusts may be of use to you. Even if you want to "disinherit" someone, then your estate plan needs to clearly indicate that intent.
A thorough and effective estate plan may encompass one or more of a number of legal documents. Wills, trusts and powers of attorney can all play a pivotal role in the protection of an estate's value and the distribution of its assets. Although a well thought out estate plan can be ironclad, even seemingly minor errors can have tremendously large ramifications. This is why it is often wise to have the assistance of a skilled estate planning attorney when dealing with these matters.
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.