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Estate planning goes beyond having only a simple will

Many people in Ohio have a will prepared but have not taken the additional steps of establishing an estate plan. A simple will may be inadequate to cover all of the issues that may arise in the future. Accordingly, estate experts suggest that the individual or married couple meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss the features and prospects for an estate plan.

An estate plan addresses the question of what a person wants to happen after he or she dies. It includes the questions of why a person wants it to happen and who will assure that it happens. An effective plan will provide clarity about the details and why they are desired. This may be important in multi-marriage families with numerous children. The creation of a true plan will apprise one's heirs why the gifting has been carried out in the manner chosen by the maker.

By communicating this information to all beneficiaries during life, the prospects for family disputes will be substantially reduced. The creation of an estate plan can benefit by the addition of a statement of net worth. This is a listing of each and every asset with approximate values.

Beneficiaries are listed as well as any joint owners. This report can be accompanied by a letter of intent and instructions. The letter may supplement and support any lifetime meetings with beneficiaries that were held to explain the meanings behind the gifting in the estate plan provisions. The reasons and intent for giving certain personal items to certain beneficiaries can be explained in the letter.

An effective plan also requires some careful estate planning in choosing the persons who will administers the functions of any trusts and the will pursuant to the laws of Ohio. The executor of the will, the trustee of a living trust, guardians for the estate and money of any minors, the designated agent under the power of attorney, and so on. Talking to these persons after the estate plan has been drawn up will assure that they understand their obligations and the person's purposes and desires behind the plan.  

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