If you are over 18 years of age and have any assets at all, creating an estate plan is something you should consider doing. Indeed, estate plans are not just for the wealthy but can be used by everyday Ohioans to make a plan for what will become of their property and possessions when they are no longer here.
The best estate plans include more than just a will; instead, there are multiple documents and elements of an estate plan that you should consider including. Here, we’ll cover some of the most common elements of a comprehensive estate plan.
A will is an estate plan staple. In short, a will can be used to name who you want to inherit certain property and who you’d like to manage the distribution of your estate after your death. For parents, one very important element of a will is the ability to name a guardian for any minor children that you have if you should pass away. Without a valid will in place, the decision of who would take custody of your children could be left up to a local court.
A power of attorney is another thing that all estate plans should include. This is a type of legal document that names someone who will step in and manage your finances in the event that you die or suffer an injury and are no longer able to make decisions as such. For example, if you have a heart attack or stroke and are incapacitated, your power of attorney would act on your behalf to make decisions about your estate.
A living will, also called an advance directive, is a set of instructions that outlines the medical treatment that you wish to receive and refuse should you suffer a health emergency or be incapacitated and near death. Living wills often address things like emergency resuscitation, the use of oxygen and feeding tubes, organ donation, dialysis, the use of antibiotics, and palliative care. Your living will should also include a healthcare directive, which is similar to a power of attorney but for healthcare instead of financial matters.
Finally, the power of a trust should not be overlooked as a vital part of your estate plan. Trusts can be used to hold assets for beneficiaries and offer a myriad of benefits, including the opportunity to mitigate certain taxes and prevent some assets from going through the probate process. If you want to learn more about trusts and how you can use a trust as part of your estate plan, our lawyers can guide you through everything you need to know.
It can be uncomfortable to think about being taken away from your loved ones suddenly, but it’s important to know that through estate planning, you can take steps now to protect your loved ones if such a thing does occur.
If you don’t already have an estate plan in place, take the time to start creating one today. The first step is reaching out to our skilled Ohio estate planning attorneys at Fout Law. Call our office or send us a message using the contact form on our website at your convenience to get started discussing your estate planning goals.
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