In Ohio and elsewhere, estate planning includes making decisions and selections that could prove to be damaging or helpful to the estate administration process, depending on how carefully those decisions are handled. This refers to the all-important process of selecting one's representatives, agents and surrogates to handle various parts of one's estate plan, either during life or after death. Most people engaging in estate planning do not focus on the importance of these choices, but the wrong selections could create bad outcomes for the estate and for one's heirs and beneficiaries.
For the business owner in Ohio and elsewhere, decisions have to be made regarding the succession of the business and the distribution of its wealth after the owner's death. Although it seems at first blush controversial to say, it may be that one's children are not the best beneficiaries to take over the ongoing business. Where the children have had little or no interest in the enterprise, it may be more appropriate to set up estate planning measures that will give one's heirs the economic benefit of the business while transferring the business operation to a trusted key employee or associate who is well-suited to carry on the company's legacy.
Power of attorney is an important and necessary role that should not be taken lightly. Sometimes, an individual does not have the capacity—mental or physical—to continue managing her or his own affairs. In such cases, appointing somebody to take over power of attorney can ensure that the individual is still cared for and that person's needs are met. Unfortunately, however, power of attorney can be abused.
The best way to do estate planning in Ohio is with the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney. The process is complicated, may involve tax considerations and provides various choices that can best be made in consultation with a professional. Surprisingly, over half of all Americans don't have even a will. That may be because people believe some of the common urban myths about estate planning. In reality, however, it is a highly beneficial process that can preserve one's assets and distribute them at death as desired.
Ohio probate courts each year host numerous legal conflicts about whether the maker of a will or trust was competent when executing the legal instrument, or in the case of a living trust was competent throughout its revisions and administration. A will or trust can be struck down if the maker is proved to have been mentally incompetent or swayed by undue influence in the making of the will or trust. The preparation of estate planning documents facilitates fewer conflicts among heirs. However, in some cases where competency is hotly contested by battling family members, litigation may be the only avenue to resolution.