614.436.2800

Estate Planning

Whether you are reaching the latter stages of your life or have a family member who recently died, it can be anxiety-provoking to confront death and issues like what will happen to your property and wealth after you are gone. Trusts and estates lawyer AmySue Taylor understands the sensitivity of these situations. She is experienced in legal matters related to estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, estate administration, the selection of an executor, estate settlement services, estate taxes, advance directives, and others. Sometimes out-of-state family members or relatives of Columbus residents must retain a lawyer in Ohio, and she also can represent out-of-state executors, administrators, and beneficiaries.

The five basic documents below will provide the foundation for your estate plan. If you already have these documents, review them to make sure that they are up to date with current Ohio estate tax laws.

5 Basic Estate Planning Documents –

#1. Will
This legal document expresses your last wishes. It dictates how your estate will be allocated after death.
#2. Durable Power of Attorney
This gives another person the ability to make decisions in the case that you become incapacitated and cannot handle matters yourself.
#3. Healthcare Power of Attorney
This allows you to appoint a trustee to make decisions about your healthcare if you become unable to do so.
#4. Living Will
This legal document states your expressed wishes for medical care if you were to be under certain medical circumstances. This is also called a “Healthcare Directive“.
#5. Revocable Living Trust
This estate planning tool is used to determine who gets your estate after your death.

Why hire an estate planning lawyer?

Every estate plan is unique, but all require these ten actions and the guidance of an estate attorney to ensure that your property passes to those you select in a seamless, orderly and economical way. A strong plan will ease the burden placed on your survivors who are already dealing with the trauma of your death.

  • Document your property and determine what you own and what you owe.
  • Evaluate your insurance policies
  • Plan for the liquidity of assets to pay debts
  • Plan for the expenses of your funeral, burial or body disposition
  • Name your beneficiaries.
  • Plan a strategy to avoid probate or reduce the property which must pass through probate court.
  • Prepare a Last Will and Testament.
  • Plan a Trust, if needed
  • Plan to minimize taxes and expenses associated with the distribution of your estate.
  • Review and update your estate plan periodically

6 Most Frequent Estate Planning Mistakes

 

NOT HAVING AN ESTATE PLAN –
65% of American adults die without a plan. With careful planning, you can make sure that your personal and financial affairs are handled properly after your death.

NOT KEEPING YOUR WILL UP TO DATE –
As your life changes with new babies, adoption, marriage, divorce, and maybe a new home, it is vital to update your Will.

ADDING YOUR CHILD’S NAME TO THE DEED –
You are subjecting your child to high estate taxes. Consider creating an estate plan that passes your property through an inheritance instead.

 CHOOSING THE WRONG ESTATE EXECUTOR –
Sometimes people choose a spouse or child to be the executor, however, there may be someone else better suited to handle the responsibilities.

 NOT PLANNING FOR YOUR OWN DISABILITY –
You may have dire personal and financial consequences. Consider appointing a Power of Attorney or Living Trust.

NOT SEEKING GUIDANCE FROM AN ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER –
Ohio State laws are complex and update frequently. To get the most seamless distribution of your assets that you worked a lifetime to build, to minimize the tax liability and emotional stress of your heirs, consult a professional.

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The material in this web site is for informational purposes only; visitors should not rely on the information as advice or as a consultation, but should consult a lawyer about their specific legal issues. The content of the site in no way creates an attorney-client relationship. Representing clients throughout Columbus: Powell, Shawnee Hills, Jerome, Lewis Center, Africa, Delaware, New California, Delaware, Plain City, Westerville in the areas of Probate & Estate Administration, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts, Mediation, and Personal Injury Law.