Why Is Estate Planning Important?
“Estate planning” is the descriptive term of reviewing, preparing, and discussing how to best transfer assets to our heirs. We often think of a Will as the only vehicle that can be used to dispose of our assets, but estate planning allows us to explore all methods of disposition and give consideration to what would be the best way to accomplish the needs of the client.
Simple estate planning may involve nothing more than setting up ownership of assets to transfer to the “survivor”. In many cases this is accomplished by using language setting up joint accounts or by contractual agreement with a life insurance or annuity company. More complex estate planning may involve a Trust Agreement or a term of limitation contained within a Will.
These joint accounts can protect your beneficiaries as well by making sure that your own personal expenses are handled by the trust itself. You can ensure that no financial obligations for debt servicing will pass along to your heirs.
One of the wonderful aspects of estate planning is that it resolves issues regarding your assets now — while you are still alive to see it enacted. Rather than waiting for a Will to take effect posthumously, you can transfer assets to your children or other beneficiaries in such a way that it minimizes tax losses. You can move real estate or other investment assets into your children’s names as you see fit, on the schedule with which you are most comfortable.
Our legal team has rich knowledge of Ohio and federal tax laws, and knows how to advise you to create your estate plans in the shrewdest possible manner. We know how to limit your tax liability, and how to pay the smallest possible amount of estate tax.
Consider these services to be one part tax advisor, one part financial planner, and one part contract lawyer. A skilled, seasoned estate planning attorney can craft your documents in accordance not only with your wishes for asset distribution, but with your investment strategies in mind.
There are other concerns that you can resolve now as well. What happens if you become incapacitated? If you are unable to communicate, how can you make sure your requests are honored? A substantial part of estate planning involves the creation of a Living Will. This document can clarify if you want a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order, or what should happen if you require life support to keep your heart beating. If you have opinions on your quality of life in such a case, you can make those opinions legally binding with such a document.
Getting Your Affairs in Order
We all hear about the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family will be taken care of if something should happen to you. And all of this is legitimate, and accurate.
What we hear about less is knowing that we are protecting ourselves.
Many of these documents are not about your assets or your life insurance or what you bequeath to your spouse, kids, and other relatives.
Many of these forms involve protecting your quality of life if you fall ill or get into an accident. If, Heaven forbid, you are diagnosed with a brain tumor tomorrow, then you want to have documents in place that tell everyone how you want this situation handled. You want to specify what type of medical care you would want, and whether or not you would want to be kept on life support if you are unable to breathe on your own.
A Cincinnati Estate Planning Law Firm Here To Help
At Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller we pride ourselves in our estate planning experience in being able to discuss and analyze the individual client needs and making the simplest of changes or recommendations to accomplish the disposition of their assets. We review and discuss how a Will would assist transfer of assets, what a Trust would accomplish, how to minimize estate taxation and how to best meet the individual client’s identified needs.
Most estate plans include preparation of ancillary documents known as health care directives (Living Will or Health Care Power of Attorney) and a general business form Power of Attorney. We have a confidential Personal Information Worksheet that our Cincinnati Estate Planning Attorneys use to collect the detailed information about our clients in order to make the best suggestions for implementation of their ideas when performing an estate plan.
Considering Estate Planning?
If you are interested in Estate Planning assistance, contact us by phone or through our contact form and we’ll get back to you shortly.