Estate planning in Ohio and elsewhere is a neglected aspect of personal finance and wealth building, even among some who are wildly successful. Estate planning connotes a dry subject that is fit only for those who are very old and very rich. However, anyone with some assets, such as a home, retirement account, life insurance, savings, and the like, will be passing on a disastrous experience to their heirs without an estate plan.
Estate experts in Ohio and elsewhere would likely agree that the spirit of Valentine's Day justifies a special kind of gift for one's family: the gift of an estate plan that will protect the family if one becomes disabled and unable to handle his or her own affairs. It is also the gift of knowing that, when the person dies, his or her wishes will govern the distribution of assets. In addition, estate planning assures that all measures will be taken to protect the assets against certain creditors and protect those assets for the designated heirs.
Probate of an estate in Ohio begins after an owner of assets dies. The owner may die with or without a will. If there is no will, but there are assets in the decedent's name, an estate must be opened. With no will, estates must follow state statutory rules and may not try to satisfy the decedent's wishes. The decedent's wishes would be honored if estate planning had been conducted.
Ohio business owners can benefit from establishing estate planning provisions for the protection of their families, partners and employees. In the personal context, a business owner will benefit from setting up some basic estate planning instruments that are suited to all individuals. The most well-known of these is the person's last will and testament.
Having an estate plan is more of a necessity than a luxury item just for rich people. Everyone will benefit from having estate planning instruments in place that will be effective both during life and at death. The governing instrument at death in Ohio and all other states is usually the decedent's last will and testament.
Ohio residents may use the end of the year period to review their estate plan. Alternatively, they may use this time to get one started. For those who have already engaged in some degree of estate planning, it is a good time to review one's beneficiaries. This may include persons that have received gifts in the person's will, and it may include the beneficiaries that are listed on insurance policies or on retirement or investment accounts.
There are many seniors in Ohio who have estate plans that have not been reviewed in many years. The problem arises, however, that a plan that has not been reviewed for 10 or 20 years or more may be woefully out-of-date. The personal representative of the will may need to be changed and other testamentary appointments may be unavailable or deceased after that long of a period. Estate planning is an ongoing process.
While a parent will typically want to see his or her assets go to a child, seeing those assets go instead to the child's ex-spouse in a bitter divorce is generally going to be anathema to the parent. A child's ex-spouse can get in the way of what the decedent clearly wanted, which was to keep his or her assets in the family. There are estate planning techniques that may be implemented in Ohio to make sure that the person's assets go to the right persons.
A will is an incredibly important and often overlooked tool. This document can provide a wide array of protections and benefits, but many in Ohio still eschew the estate planning process, viewing it as something for only the rich or very wealthy. A comprehensive will is not reliant on a certain number of valuable assets, and can be used by virtually everyone to create the best estate plan possible, easing the burden for loved ones left behind.
An unexpected cardiac arrest, sudden illness or life-threatening accident can be the split second that changes the life you knew and a future you never planned for. When serious medical issues come up, and you and your loved ones are suddenly facing end-of-life care decisions, you may not fully understand just what these decisions entail.