Stachler Harmon Attorneys at Law
Estate Planning Myths Are Contradicted by Factual Knowledge
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.
Another myth is that it is too complicated and time-consuming. However, a few meeting with the attorney, along with a financial advisor if desired, can culminate in a fully informed and effective plan geared toward one's particular circumstances. Once a plan is in place, there will be peace of mind in knowing that certain important protections are being utilized, and that the assets will be distributed as desired at death.
The process with the estate planning attorney is an ongoing one in that it is imperative to meet at least every few years to update and review one's plan. Taking care of one's home, possessions, accounts, retirement funds, investments, insurance, vehicles and special family concerns are all a part of the estate planning process. Where young children are a factor, the will can specify who will take care of the money of the children and who will serve as personal guardian if both parents are deceased.
Another myth of estate planning in Ohio and elsewhere is that all one needs is a simple will. In reality, however, there are many considerations to look at when you meet with the attorney. The will only takes care of those assets titled in the person's name at death. Putting some assets in joint ownership may be the most economical and effective way to deal with the particular assets as this passes title automatically at death to the survivor without going through the delays of probate. Life insurance policies, investment and retirement accounts are distributed directly to the beneficiary and will also not have to go through probate.