Who Needs an Estate Plan in Ohio?

OHIO ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY

Estate planning is a crucial part of your financial plan. With it you are able to determine how and who manages your assets in the event of your death or if you are unable to manage them on your own. Everyone can benefit from an estate plan no matter how large or small your assets may be. The estate planning process involves your assets, family members or friends you wish to bestow money to and possibly charitable organizations or other business entities. Learn how an estate planning attorney such as Bart Leonardi can help you put together a plan that will cover all your financial bases.

WHAT’S IN AN ESTATE PLAN?

An estate plan consists of a number of documents that spells out the future of your financial plan. If you die intestate, or without a will or plan, the estate law of Ohio will determine what happens to your assets. Their determination of your assets may not be the best for your family. It is essential to hire an Ohio probate lawyer to put your financial affairs in order before something unfortunate occurs.

Some documents that your estate planning attorney will suggest for you may include:

  • A Will: The primary purpose of a will is to name a guardian for your minor children, name the executor of your estate, and detail how your property is to be distributed upon your death.
  • An Assignment of Power of Attorney:Essentially this document allows you to grant a power of attorney to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. Typically the most used types of powers of attorney include:
    • Springing power of attorney – This type of power goes only into effect when circumstances occur that you specify. Usually when you become unable to manage your own affairs, this power will be assigned to the person you have named when your inability has been proven by a doctor or the courts.
    • Durable power of attorney – This power can be effective immediately without the proof of your incapacity. The person you named to manage your finances does not need any signature to take control of your finances.
  • A Living Will: This document is used within an estate plan to determine your medical wishes of withdrawing or ceasing medical treatment if you are unconscious for a long period of time, such as a coma.Healthcare Proxy (or medical power of attorney): This assignment to another individual (also known as an agent) is given the authority to makes decisions on your medical treatment as he or she deems necessary. It is imperative that you select your healthcare proxy carefully as this individual may be required to make critical decisions that could affect the length of your life.

Your estate plan will hold all of your assets. As you begin to plan out the future for your assets you can use the above named documents to secure your future and the future of your family.

WHO PAYS ESTATE TAXES?

As the law currently stands in Ohio, estates are subject to a 6% tax rate that have assets valued over $338,333 up to $500,000. For estates over $500,000 the tax rate increases to 7%. However, the Ohio Estate Tax will be repealed on January 1, 2013 which means that anyone who dies on or after this day will not have estates subject to additional tax. As you prepare your estate plan, consider the tax implications for the assets you plan to distribute.

HOW TO START THE ESTATE PLANNING PROCESS

Begin by gathering all financial information for your current assets. Figure out what assets you plan on offering to charitable organizations and which ones you plan to keep within family. After you have a rough idea of where you plan on allocating your assets schedule a free consultation with estate planning lawyer Bart Leonardi. He provides a free initial meeting so you can figure out the best option for your future.

Attorney Bart Leonardi

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