Regardless of your net worth and assets, everyone should ideally have a strategically constructed estate plan. Having proper estate planning documents can help reduce tax and related consequences for beneficiaries, plan for retirement and old age, appoint your children’s guardian, avoid probate complications, and/or make managing your affairs easier in case you become incapable of managing them yourself. Our experienced estate planning attorneys here at Kryszak & Associates can assist you with these crucial estate planning tasks:
A will details what you want to happen with your property and money upon your death. It can likewise name your children’s guardian. If you die without a will, assets that must pass through probate would be distributed based on state law. This means that your closest relatives, even if you’re estranged from them or don’t know them, will get everything. This might also mean that some of the people you love, including stepchildren, an unmarried partner, or others, for instance, will not get anything. The court will likewise decide on who’ll take care of your children.
A trust basically holds your assets. This legal document specifies how assets in your trust must be distributed without having to go through probate. Avoiding probate is one of the most common reasons for setting up trusts. However, trusts can likewise help you plan for long-term care and/or ensure that your kids and other relatives have help managing their inheritance. Additionally, trusts can help reduce state estate taxes because they usually have lower tax limits than state estate taxes.
A power of attorney (POA) can help safeguard specific interests during your lifetime. It’s a legal document that enables another individual to do business and decide on matters on your behalf in the event that you become incapable of doing so. For instance, a healthcare or medical POA designates an individual to make medical decisions in the event that you are unable to. Likewise, a durable POA helps make sure that your financial and business interests can flourish in case of an accident or serious and debilitating illness.
A living will, also known as an advance directive, specifies your wishes on life-prolonging or other medical treatments if you become terminally ill or lose the ability to communicate or make sound judgments. This can alleviate the burden of deciding on life or death matters for your loved ones.
Keep in mind that estate planning should be an ongoing process, such that as your life progresses and your goals change, your estate plan must shift in line and follow your life changes and new goals. It’s also important to note that lack of proper estate planning could result in undue financial problems on your loved ones due to high estate taxes, so you should have a will, at the very least, even if you don’t have a massive taxable estate. Contact Kryszak & Associates online or by phone to schedule a consultation with one of our Ohio estate planning attorneys and learn how we can help you.