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Estate Planning Checklist: What to Consider Before You Start

Stachler Harmon Attorneys at Law  Jan. 10, 2022

Having an estate plan allows you to provide instructions regarding how you want your estate, assets, and final affairs to be managed or settled upon your death or sudden incapacitation. However, before you start drafting your plan, you need to carefully understand the estate planning process and consider your possible options. A practiced Ohio estate planning attorney can help you understand some important considerations when thinking about establishing your estate plan. 

At StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law, we're dedicated to offering reliable legal counsel and advocacy to clients in estate-planning-related matters. What sets us apart from other firms? We will go above and beyond to help you create the best possible circumstances for you. We listen to your wants and needs, and together, we can build your plan from there. 

Our skilled legal team can fully explain some of the things to consider before starting and help determine the ideal option for your unique needs. We're proud to serve clients across Dayton, Miamisburg, Warren, Preble County, Butler County, Clark County, and Greene County, Ohio. 

Understanding Estate Planning 

Estate planning can be described as the process of making a comprehensive and strategic plan in advance about how your property, assets, and finances should be managed, distributed, or disposed of when you're gone. Some vital documents to include in your estate plan are wills, living trusts, power of attorney, advanced care, and more. Through proper estate planning, you can protect your loved ones, preserve your assets, and avoid possible disputes and issues during estate settlement

What Should I Consider Before I Draft an Estate Plan? 

If you are thinking about creating your estate plan, here are some crucial things to put into consideration before you start: 

Identify Your Goals: Identify the particular reason or purpose of your estate planning. Also, determine what you would like to achieve by drafting your plan. 

List Property and Assets: Make a detailed list of all your properties, assets, investments, personal belongings, and businesses you would like to include in your estate plan. 

Consider Beneficiaries: Consider the loved one or family members you intend to name as beneficiaries to your estate. These beneficiaries (or inheritors) will receive your assets and property when you're gone. 

Identify Debts and Liabilities: Carefully list out all your liabilities and debts. Make a strategic plan to settle all your creditors. 

Decide Asset Distribution: Decide how you want your property and assets distributed or transferred to surviving family members (heirs and beneficiaries) when you're gone. 

Consider Making Donations: Decide if you would like to donate some of your assets or give gifts to schools, churches, non-profits, and other charitable organizations. 

Consider Healthcare Decisions: Consider your preferred wishes about medical care, treatments, and procedures (advance care directives). Also, consider who you can trust to make these medical-related decisions for you when you're unable to do so. 

Consider Financial and Legal Matters: Determine if you need to draft a power of attorney document – or name an agent or attorney in fact. Through a power of attorney, you can authorize a reliable person to make decisions about your property, financial, legal, and tax-related matters when you're unavailable or unable to make such decisions on your own. 

Plan for Minors and Pets: Consider if you need to leave assets, money, or make special provisions for some family members, dependents, and close relatives. These include minor children, pets, incapacitated adults, and other family members with special needs. 

Consider Business Succession Plan: If you own a business, it may be a wise decision to establish a business succession plan to protect your company's future. With a succession plan, you can develop or choose new leaders who will effortlessly replace you upon your retirement, sudden incapacitation, or death. 

Consider Burial/Funeral Preferences: Lastly, consider your true wishes and preferences about burial and funeral rights. You should also consider how you want your remains to be handled or deposited when you die. 

If you or a loved one is considering establishing an estate plan, you need to reach out to a strategic estate planning lawyer right away. Your attorney can help you understand the estate planning process in Ohio and help you make informed decisions based on your unique needs. 

Take Those First Steps to Protect Your Assets  

Creating an estate plan often involves a lot of complicated procedures and legal legwork. Therefore, getting experienced guidance from a knowledgeable estate planning attorney is imperative when drafting your plan to avoid making costly errors. At StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law, we have the expertise and diligence to advise and guide clients. We can help you through the complex processes involved in establishing estate plans. 

Our trusted team can enlighten you about how estate planning works, what to consider before starting, and help determine the right choice for your unique needs. Also, we can help draft all your important estate planning documents and make sure they are valid, legal, and meet all procedural requirements. Above all, we will help create a strategic plan to protect your accumulated assets and achieve your estate planning goals. 

Contact StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law today to schedule a simple consultation with reliable estate planning lawyers. Our strategic attorneys can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and brilliant advocacy you need to make informed decisions in every stage of your estate planning. We proudly serve clients across Dayton, Miamisburg, Warren, Preble County, Butler County, Clark County, and Greene County, Ohio, so if you’re in the area, reach out today.