Everyone talks about creating a will. It’s essential to have a Last Will and Testament so that your wishes about distribution of your property are known. It is also crucial if you have minor children to designate a person or persons to care for your children in the event of your death. However, there are three things (and frankly a few more) that are not provided for in a Last Will and Testament that you should be aware of and address.

1. Durable Powers of Attorney and a Living Will

In a Living Will or advance directive, you set out your wishes for end-of-life care. For example, it can include necessary care for pain but no advanced life-saving measures. With a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) for health care, you give a trusted person the authority to follow your wishes laid out in your Living Will and make medical decisions for you when you are unable.

A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances works like a DPOA for health care, except it gives a trusted person authority over your assets. For example, it makes it easier for a family member to access your banking accounts for bill paying.

2. Certain Types of Property and Assets

A will does not designate who will receive any benefits from life insurance policies, retirement accounts (including 401(k) or IRAs), or any transfer on death accounts. These must be set up separately, through the designation of a beneficiary on the policies or through a trust.

3. Estate Tax

Wills are part of the formal probate process. Although Ohio eliminated its estate tax in 2013, a large estate may be subject to a federal estate tax. If your potential estate exceeds the exemption amount, you may benefit by creating a trust. A trust may help you minimize a federal estate tax liability.

Setting up a will is essential, but the story doesn’t end there. Working with an Estate Attorney can ensure that your wishes are followed and your assets distributed as you wish. Contact us for a Free Consultation today.

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