No matter the size of your estate, estate planning can be a huge undertaking. Too many people view estate planning as simply deciding where and to whom property and assets go after their death. While that is an important part of estate planning, which can be complex depending on the size of your estate, the estate planning process involves many more steps and factors to consider.
As a Columbus estate planning lawyer can explain, another important part of planning your estate is planning your own future. If you become physically or mentally unable to care for yourself, an estate plan can make your preferences clear and prevent your family from making difficult decisions.
Our law firm can help you create your estate plan, put your health care and end-of-life wishes in writing, and decide how your belongings will be distributed. Call (877) 538-1116 to speak to a member of the estate planning team at Bressman Law today.
Know the Power of an Estate Plan
Creating your estate plan can be a daunting task because, even though it sounds like a single document, an estate plan is actually a collection of important documents. Each document has the power to share important decisions, including:
- Guardianship of minor children
- Guardianship of disabled adult children
- Possession of personal property and collections
- Charities and nonprofit organizations you wish to support
- Successive ownership of any businesses you own
- Help define the financial aspect of your retirement years
- What should be done if you lapse into a coma or vegetative state
In addition to these critical decisions, an estate plan may also name the person you select to serve as your personal representative who may ensure your wishes are carried out. It may also limit tax liability for your heirs and eliminate family squabbles and indecision.
Start building an estate plan that pulls together documents to finalize your decisions. Put your property and financial affairs in order with help from a lawyer in Columbus or its surrounding communities. Review your plans with the client intake team at Bressman Law by calling (877) 538-1116 today.
For a free legal consultation with a estate planning lawyer serving Columbus, call (877) 538-1116
Documents That Form a Complete Estate Plan
The documents of your estate plan are powerful because they speak in your absence and in your voice. These primary documents can help form the basis for your estate plan and may include:
- Will: This document names your heirs and what they will receive.
- Living Will: This document details your preferences for medical treatment and life-saving interventions.
- Power of Attorney: This document gives someone you choose the right to make decisions for you for a specified period of time.
- Durable Power of Attorney: This document gives someone you choose the right to make decisions on your behalf indefinitely.
These are only the basic documents that your estate plan might contain. It is impossible to list all the documents your estate planning process might require because each estate plan is unique to its creator. Your lawyer may help you determine the specific selection of documents you need to complete your estate plan.
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Your Estate Plan Can Assign Key Responsibilities to People You Select
If you fail to create an estate plan, the court may assign someone to oversee the distribution of your property. An estate plan allows you to make these key designations yourself, including:
- Executor: This is the person you designate in your will or estate plan to oversee the distribution of your property and assets.
- Guardian: This is the person you designate to oversee the inheritance and personal needs of your ward, such as your minor child or disabled adult child
- Trustee: This is the person you designate to manage and administer property and assets held in a trust account for another person.
Because the individuals you designate may have serious, long-term responsibilities, these are decisions you should make carefully. A Columbus estate planning lawyer may help you discuss the people you know and love and decide who best fits each role.
Do Not Avoid Leaving an Estate Plan
Creating a comprehensive estate plan may make your retirement plans, later life, and end-of-life decisions easier to navigate. It may also comfort your family before and after your demise and prevent them from struggling with difficult, emotional decisions.
If you do not leave a properly executed will or estate plan, the state may step in and decide how to divide your assets. Dying without a will or estate plan is called dying intestate. In Columbus, the statute of descent and distribution in the Ohio Revised Code Section 2105.06 will decide how to distribute your property.
According to Ohio State Bar Association regulations, the court may also decide who to appoint as the administrator of your estate, even if you do not know them. The disposition of your property is a decision you, not the court system, should make. To avoid having a stranger make these decisions on your behalf, consult a local lawyer who may help you put your decisions into the correct form as soon as possible.
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Do Not Put Off Defining the Goals of Your Estate Plan Today
Because estate planning helps you decide who receives your property and assets upon your demise, it can seem morbid. In reality, estate planning is about more than what happens to your property after your death. It can also allow you to define what happens if you become mentally incapacitated during your lifetime.
A Columbus estate planning lawyer may help you make your preferences clear and let your friends and family know what you want. If you are ready to create an estate plan that gives you clarity and your family peace of mind, contact the team at Bressman Law by calling (877) 538-1116 today.