Key Elements of an Estate Plan: What Should Yours Include?

April 17, 2018  

If you are over 18 years of age and have any assets at all, creating an estate plan is something you should consider doing. Indeed, estate plans are not just for the uber-wealthy, but can be used by everyday Ohioans to make a plan for what will become of their estate and possessions when they are no longer here.

The best estate plans include more than just a will; instead, there are multiple documents and elements of an estate plan that you should consider including.

Wills

A will is an estate plan staple. In short, a will can be used to name who you want to inherit what at the time of your death. For parents, one very important element of a will is the fact that a will can also be used to name a guardian for any minor children that you have.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is another thing that all estate plans should include. This is a type of legal document that names someone who will step in and manage your finances in the event that you suffer an injury or death, and are no longer able to make decisions as such. For example, if you have a heart attack or stroke and are incapacitated, your power of attorney would act on your behalf to make decisions about your estate.

Living Will/Advance Directive

A living will, also called an advance directive, is a set of instructions that outlines the medical treatment that you wish to receive and refuse should you suffer a health emergency, or be incapacitated and near death. Living wills often address things like emergency resuscitation, the use of oxygen and feeding tubes, organ donation, dialysis, use of antibiotics, and palliative care. Your living will should also include a healthcare directive, which is similar to a power of attorney but for healthcare instead of financial matters.

Trusts

Finally, the power of a trust should not be overlooked as a vital part of your estate plan. Trusts can be used to hold assets for beneficiaries, and offer a myriad of benefits, including the mitigation of certain taxes and the probate process. If you want to learn more about trusts and how you can use a trust as part of your estate plan, our lawyers can guide you through everything you need to know.

Start Creating Your Estate Plan Today

If you don’t already have an estate plan in place, take the time to start creating one today. The first step is reaching out to our skilled Ohio estate planning attorneys at the law office of Kryszak & Associates, Co., LPA. Call us at 440-934-5330, or send us a message using the contact form on our website at your convenience.