How Can A Will and Estate Lawyer Help Me?
A Will and Estate Planning lawyer can help you craft documents to manage your assets upon your death. If you die without a Will, your assets will be distributed according to Ohio law. This can be a devastating situation for a family that is already dealing with the loss of their loved one.
By having a Will and Estates lawyer review your assets and family responsibilities, you can have an estate plan made that will protect your assets. The surest way to do this is to distribute these assets to the people you want to receive them, in the manner you direct. You may need just a Will, and to have the ownership of some assets changed to ensure that, upon your death, they transfer automatically to your spouse or another person.
Depending on the amount of assets you have, you may need additional documents. The Will and Estate Planning lawyer will recommend the appropriate measures to protect any amount of assets. Some trusts can ensure that family members are cared for in the manner you deem appropriate. You can create a trust which structures your assets so that they can provide for your spouse or someone else with periodic payments. This kind of trust takes the burden off of a spouse, who will not have to manage the money for growth. Your spouse could be provided with a monthly income.
Drafting A Will
Three of the essential elements to consider when drafting a Will are:
- Guardianship. This refers to the care of any minors for whom you are responsible. If you have children, who will take care of them?
- Assets. Cars, funds, investment accounts, and other possessions will be listed among your assets.
- Real property. If you own or co-own a house or other real estate, this falls into the category of “real property.”
You can create other trusts to alleviate a tax burden or protect assets from creditors. A Supplemental Services Trust or Special Needs Trust may provide for a disabled child or family member after your death.
While many of these considerations are designed to take care of your loved ones after your passing, some of them can impact you while you are still alive. A Will and Estate Planning lawyer can also help you craft a Living Will.
A Living Will helps you establish rules for how you wish to be cared for if you suffer an incapacitating injury, illness, or medical event. If, for example, you have a severe stroke, and lose the capacity to communicate, your Living Will can help others — include medical professionals — understand how you would want them to proceed. Would you want to be on life support? Would you prefer to be taken off of life support? And what point would you want not to be resuscitated? Choices may include intravenous food and water, blood transfusions, dialysis, or palliative care for pain reduction.
The Living Will is also called a health care directive. It declares your preferences for health care in such situations.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a similar type of document. In the Healthcare Power of Attorney document, you can designate a representative to make your health care decisions for you. If you are incapacitated, you can name an agent — a sibling, a friend, a spouse, a parent, any adult you select — to make these decisions for you.
The Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will are often referred to as “advanced directives” Or healthcare directives.
By consulting with a Will and Estate Planning attorney, you can gain an understanding of how you can protect your assets and your family.