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Estate planning is necessary for both large and small estates

Estate planning in Ohio involves the process of preparing a strategy, and the legal framework to support it, for the management and disposal of a person's assets both during life and after death. In that process, planning attempts to maximize the value of the assets and minimize the impact of applicable taxes and fees. Those with small financial holdings are just as needful of estate planning as are those with a large body of assets.

The most well-known estate planning tool is a will. Surprisingly, over half of adult Americans don't even have a will. Most states have statutes that dictate the order of distribution of a person's assets after death if there is no will. This is not desirable for both those with large estates and those with modest ones. The state's distribution schemata may differ greatly from what the individual would have chosen in a personally prepared will.

A will is accompanied by other necessary legal instruments consistent with the person's needs and wishes. The plan is best created with the assistance and guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney. In that setting, the individual or married couple can ask a myriad of questions and get first-hand suggestions from the attorney. Always choose someone who has handled many estate planning matters and is experienced in Ohio estates law. Consider also that the practice of going online to obtain templates to fill in is a hit-and-miss procedure that often misses and can sometimes bring dire results.

There are three vital reasons why people make up estate plans. First, tax reduction and the possible reduction or elimination of probate fees is a consideration. Second, an objective is to protect one's assets. This involves several options that can be discussed and decided upon after evaluating the choices with the attorney.

Third, it has been found in Ohio and elsewhere that the most important motivating factor for estate planning is to secure control and management of one's assets. This includes making sure that the right beneficiaries receive their inheritances as the maker of the will intends. This eliminates worry about family bickering and disputes because the testator's wishes will clearly govern.

Source: Forbes, "The 3 Reasons Why People Do Estate Planning", Joel Johnson, May 21, 2018

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