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Dayton Ohio Probate And Business Law Blog

5 reasons to draft that estate plan now

Do you have goals for your estate plan? It's different for everyone, but figuring out your goals is a great place to start. When you know what you want that estate plan to do, you can start working with that in mind, and you can learn about all of the options that will get you to that desired outcome.

To help you start, here are five common reasons that people draft estate plans. Do some of them apply to you?

  1. They want to reduce the amount of taxes that have to get paid on the estate. This means that more of their money can go to their loved ones and heirs.
  2. They want to keep the estate out of probate. They know that this can be a long and complicated process for their heirs, and they have no intention of putting them through that.
  3. They want to avoid family disputes and fights that can arise when there is no estate plan and heirs can't agree on what to do.
  4. They want to protect the assets that they control. For instance, they may worry about losing them in a lawsuit.
  5. They want to protect their heirs from various issues that may arise. For instance, maybe their heirs are minors, and they want to put the money aside so that it can get used for a specific purpose, like paying college tuition.

Do I need an advance directive?

The future brings about uncertainty. Though you may be healthy and active now, there’s always the chance of falling ill unexpectedly. According to studies, about seven in 10 Americans will experience a time in their lives in which they won’t be able to make decisions for themselves.

If that time came, do you know who would make decisions for you? What decisions would they make on your behalf? By creating an advance directive, you can gain some peace of mind.

How to resolve inheritance conflicts

If a loved one has recently passed away, your family will be going through a stressful time. Grief can change our mental state in many ways, and it can also cause us to act out-of-character. This can potentially lead to a higher amount of tension within the family dynamic, even if everyone is sharing the same grief.

If you are attempting to resolve a family conflict that has arisen during probate administration, it is important to tread carefully. If you are an heir of the estate, some family members might interpret your resolution attempt to be concerned with personal gain. That said, it can be possible to resolve an inheritance conflict. The following are some tips for avoiding and addressing family inheritance conflicts.

Choosing a structure before starting your business

When you have defined your business idea, planned your strategy and secured a sufficient amount of funding, it's time to start looking into some of the practical details regarding starting your new business. By now you should have a good idea of the way you want your business to function, but it's important that you translate your vision into concrete decisions.

Every successful business needs to have strong foundations in order to be successful in the long-term. Choosing the most appropriate business structure will help you to build those strong foundations. The following are some of the main types of business structures that you have to choose from.

Estate planning and gender-based life expectancy

Before doing your estate planning, you decide to look up the average life expectancy in the United States. If things go as planned -- if you don't get into a car accident, for instance, or suffer a fatal injury at work -- you want to know how long you have.

What you find, though, is very interesting. Men and women in the U.S. do not have the same life expectancy, and it's not even all that close. For men, it clocks in right around 76 years old. For women, it is far higher, at about 81 years old. That's a difference of five years.

How to put your funeral wishes in your estate plan

For many people, a major motivation in planning their estate is making sure that their loved ones are not under a great deal of stress with administrative responsibilities at the end of their life. By taking their time to plan out their estate, perhaps even creating trusts to avoid the probate process, their loved ones are likely to be relieved of many of the bureaucratic processes while they are grieving.

Even if you have planned out your estate, you may not have made your wishes known regarding your funeral arrangements. This can mean that your loved ones will be left guessing about what you would have wanted at the service. If you have specific wishes for your funeral or you simply want to secure finances for the arrangements, it is important that you take care of this in your estate plan.

Calling a family meeting can help avoid probate disputes

The way you organize an estate plan can be very personal. You consider what you would like to happen if you are incapacitated or if you pass away. You appoint the people you trust most for key responsibilities, and you determine who you would like your money and other assets to go to once you are gone. However, even the most carefully planned choices could be questioned in court if your loved ones become at odds with each other over your estate plan.

Although disputes between family members may appear to be about money, most often there is a deeper cause. If your loved ones inherit less than they expect, they may feel slighted. If a loved one receives less than another, there may be resentment and concerns that they were loved less. Although hard feelings may start there, sometimes those feelings escalate and loved ones may look for reason to contest your documents in court.

How to resolve a family estate dispute

If a member of your family has passed away in recent months, you will have needed to work with other family members in order to carry out the wishes that your loved one stated in their will. It is quite common for family members to be shocked and upset by the wishes that are put forward in a loved one's will. This sense of shock and disbelief can morph into blame toward other family members, and this is often how disputes arise.

Family disputes can become extremely challenging because the disputes in question could have arisen as the result of years of unspoken tension or anger. In other words, it is easy for family arguments to blow up and exceed all proportionality.

The key administrative aspects of the probate process

If you are an executor of an estate, you will have the responsibility of going through estate administration. This can feel like an overwhelming process to go through, especially when you are grieving the death of a person that you cherished. Many estates need to go through the probate process, even when there is a last will in place.

Probate is done with the supervision of the courts and is the process of making sure bills are paid, and inheritances are administered to the correct parties in accordance with the deceased person's final wishes. The following are some of the key steps that you will need to take when going through the probate process.

Protecting the integrity of your business

If you are a business owner, it is likely that you started your business from humble beginnings and have had to grow and evolve along with your company. Having a growing business always presents new challenges, and the more successful the entity becomes, the more there is to lose.

It is important, therefore, that you make sure that your business is protected from the possible threats that present themselves to any successful business. By thinking ahead and assessing risk, you can be able to avoid costly litigation and protect your company from the actions of competitors.

  • Ohio State Bar Association | Connect.Advance.Succeed
  • Federal Bar Association | ORG Jan 5th 1920
  • Dayton Bar Association 1883
  • Super Lawyers
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