Estate Planning and Probate – What You Need to Know
Our probate and trust department will handle your legal affairs, ranging from estate planning–including the drafting of wills, living trusts, living wills, powers of the probate of one’s estate upon death. Timely consultations with our estate attorneys will help ensure that your family will receive the utmost protection and that your property will be saved from any unnecessary taxes.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of designating who will receive your assets and handle your responsibilities after your death or incapacitation. Estate planning can help establish a platform you can fine-tune as your personal and financial situations change. The key question to ask yourself is: How do you want your assets distributed if you die or are incapacitated? Our Estate Planning Attorney can help you go through all of the issues and come up with the best plan to ensure that your directives are followed.
Steps to Basic Estate Planning
Inventory Your Assets
The tangible assets in an estate may include:
- Homes, land or other real estate
- Vehicles including cars, motorcycles or boats
- Collectibles such as coins, art, antiques or trading cards
- Other personal possessions
The intangible assets in an estate may include:
- Checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit
- Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
- Life insurance policies
- Retirement plans such as workplace 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts
- Health savings accounts
- Ownership in a business
Account for Your Family
Once you have a sense of what’s in your estate, think about how to protect the assets and your family.
- Do you have enough life insurance?
- Name a guardian for your children
- Document your wishes for your children’s care.
Establish Your Directives
A complete estate plan includes important legal directives.
- A medical care directive, also known as a living will, spells out your wishes for medical care if you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
- A durable financial power of attorney allows someone else to manage your financial affairs if you’re medically unable to do so. Y
- A limited power of attorney can be useful if the idea of turning over everything to someone else concerns you. This legal document does just what its name says: It imposes limits on the powers of your named representative.
- A trust might be also appropriate in some cases. With a living trust, you can designate portions of your estate to go toward certain things while you’re alive. If you become ill or incapacitated, your selected trustee can take over. Upon your death, the trust assets transfer to your designated beneficiaries, bypassing probate, which is the court process that may otherwise distribute your property.
Review Your Beneficiaries
Your will and other documents may spell out your wishes, they may not be all-inclusive.
Note Your State’s Estate Tax Laws
Estate planning is often a way to minimize estate and inheritance taxes.
Plan to Reassess
Life changes. So should your estate plan. Plan to review you Estate plan every three years, unless a life-changing event happens, such as a birth, death, divorce, job change etc.
What is Probate?
In Ohio, Probate is the legal process that happens after a person (the”decedent”) dies, regardless of whether the person died with a valid will or without a valid will. If a decedent dies with a will, then their property is distributed according to the will. If a person dies without a will, then Ohio probate laws dictate how the decedent’s assets are distributed. Probate isn’t always required after someone dies; it depends on what assets the decedent owned. (findlaw.com)
Estate Planning Attorneys in Toledo
Let the experienced attorneys at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault help you. We can assist you in your probate and estate needs. Contact us now or call Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault to schedule a free consultation at one of our convenient office locations at 419-843-6663.