Wills & Trusts

The power of Wills and Trusts

Drafting a will is a vital step for individuals of any age so that your wishes are known and documented. Estate planning on your own terms also means handling your tax planning properly so that your heirs aren’t paying more Federal or Ohio  State estate taxes than is necessary. There are many tax planning instruments at your disposal when you plan in advance, using Ohio estate law to your benefit. AmySue Taylor will help you use the planning tools that make sense for your individual situation. We will recommend which trusts can be set up to properly protect assets and transition wealth within your family. Trusts can help avoid the emotionally difficult and time-consuming probate process.

Frequently asked questions:

  • How can we avoid Probate?
  • How long does Probate take?
  • What is the difference between a Will and a Trust?
  • What is the difference between Revocable and Irrevocable Trust?
  • My loved one died without a Last Will and Testament, now what?
  • I was named an executor but I can’t make time to do it, what are my options?
  • How can we help my heirs avoid huge tax bills when I die?
  • Will adding my child’s name to my deed and bank accounts ensure that he/she will receive it?
65% of american adults die without a will.

What is the difference between a Will and a Trust?

A common misconception is that a Will is enough to pass your assets to heirs. However, a Will alone is not enough as it takes at least one year in Ohio to validate or “probate” it in court, and until the court actually gives its permission by issuing “Letters Testamentary,” no one can touch even a dime from your estate. A Will is practically useless if your estate has significant value, or if you have real estate in different States, or if you have minor children or children from different marriages.

You need a Trust to pass your estate to your children without a challenge and court proceedings. A Trust allows your heirs to have access to your estate immediately after you pass away.

WILLS always have to go through probate.

TRUSTS never have to go through probate.

What is a Will and why does it have to go through probate?

A Will is a legal document that not only dictates how your assets will be allocated after your death, but also allows you to appoint guardians for minors, elderly and individuals with special needs. If you die without having a Will in place, the Ohio State laws will coordinate how your assets will be distributed. According to LexisNexis, it is estimated that a shocking 65 percent of American adults die intestate, without a Will or other estate plan.

When you draft your Will in advance, you can decide how your assets will be allocated and decree your wishes. However, in order for your Will to be executed, it must be approved by the Surrogate’s Court of the County where the deceased person resided. This process could potentially more than eighteen months of your beneficiaries’ time.

Why do I need a Trust if I already have a Will?

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to beneficiaries.

Since trusts never have to go through probate, your beneficiaries may gain access to these assets more quickly than they might to assets that are transferred using a will. Additionally, if it is an irrevocable trust, it may not be considered part of the taxable estate, so fewer taxes may be due upon your death. Trusts allow you to exclude parts of your assets from your taxable estate, something that a Will cannot offer.

In addition, while Wills tend to divide your estate evenly among your heirs, a trust allows you the flexibility to disproportionately distribute your assets should you choose to do so.

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