Plan for the future.
The right plan is unique to each and every one of us.
Whether your goal is to make sure your loved ones are taken care of, to secure your retirement, to defer income tax or to avoid probate. you need an estate plan.
Clients often ask me, “Why do I need a will if everything will go to my spouse or children anyway without one?”
The short answer is that a will can lessen the burden of your loved ones when they handle your estate.
Wills do more than simply distribute property. It’s a flexible document that allows you to do things like this:
- Appointing an executor for your estate, who won’t have to post a bond with the court
- Appointing guardians for your children
- Create a testamentary trust
- Make arrangements for funeral and burial
- Make donations to charity of money or property
- Direct how your property is to be treated
- Make it difficult to contest your will
The long answer is that a will is only a piece of a comprehensive estate plan that takes into consideration many different possibilities, such as if:
- What happens if you die before your spouse or children?
- Who will take care of your children if you and your spouse pass while they are still minors?
- What happens if you and your spouse die at the same time?
- What happens if you become incapacitated or disabled while your spouse is still alive?
- What happens if your spouse becomes incapacitated after you die?
- What happens if you have a child who receives government benefits, and might be disqualified if the child inherits your property?
This is just a small list of the problems that a good estate plan should address. The number of questions that need to be answered grows as your life situation changes, or when you have more children or buy and sell property. The estate plan is like insurance against your death or disability, and everyone should have one.
Why do you need an attorney to help you through this project?
A legal document website will certainly prepare a set of documents that looks like a good estate plan, and it may very well be a good estate plan – for someone, but not everyone. Estate planning is a nuanced field that will depend on the law of your state and your specific situation.
Depending on your needs, the documents you receive from the website may not appropriately get the job done. The text of those documents may not be appropriate for your state law, or they might not be equipped to question you appropriately.
Moreover, since a live person is not checking the product in most cases, it will not prevent you from making mistakes that would easily be caught by a professional. What’s the difference between the websites and me?
They sell a product. I provide a service. And in most cases, that one-size-fits-all product doesn’t come with a warranty.
If you are building a new house, are you going to hire an electrician to wire up the house, or are you going to look up videos on the internet to try to figure out how to wire the house yourself? Most people recognize that there is a risk of fire, loss, or death from improper wiring. Common sense dictates that even though you might be able to do the job yourself, you hire the electrician to ensure that everything is done properly.
For the same reason, you should trust a licensed professional to construct your estate plan according to your needs.
Together, we will discover the goals most important to you, and then we will construct the right plan for you. We may utilize any one, or all, of the following methods to achieve your goal:
- Last Will & Testament
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Revocable Living Trust
- IRA Beneficiary Trust
- NFA Firearms (“Gun”) Trust
- Irrevocable Trust
- Special Needs Trust
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
- Lifetime Gifting
Estate Plan vs. Will: Understanding the Difference
A will is a fundamental component of an estate plan, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. A comprehensive Ohio estate plan includes legal documents like a power of attorney, healthcare directives, and trusts.
Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directives: Planning for the Unexpected in Ohio
Sudden accidents or illnesses can leave you unable to make decisions for yourself. Having Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directives in place ensures your wishes are honored even when you can’t communicate them. Our Cleveland-based attorney can guide you through setting up these important documents.
Business Succession Planning: Secure Your Ohio Business’s Future
If you own a business in Ohio, like cities from Akron to Zanesville, Solon to Strongsville, you must consider what happens to your business after your retirement or death. Our team can help you devise a business succession plan to protect your business’s legacy and ensure a smooth transition.
Regular Reviews: Keeping Your Ohio Estate Plan Current
Estate plans are not a one-time setup. Your estate plan needs to be reviewed and revised as your life situation changes or as Ohio laws evolve. Regular reviews align your plan with your current wishes and the latest legal guidelines.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Estate Planning Attorney Today
We’re dedicated to providing comprehensive, personalized estate planning services that meet your needs and circumstances. Contact us today, and let us help you secure your future and the future of those you care about. Your peace of mind is our priority.
High-Value, Affluent, and Significant Wealth Estates: Specialized Planning for Wealth Preservation
In the estate planning landscape, affluent individuals and those with significant wealth face unique challenges. Carson Law Firm can guide such clients through the intricacies of estate planning, ensuring the protection and preservation of their wealth for future generations.
Unique Challenges for High-Net-Worth, Affluent, and Significant Wealth Estates
Estates of substantial worth often grapple with distinct challenges, such as the potential for considerable estate taxes, the complexities of managing diverse assets, and the necessity for privacy and discretion. These estates may also carry specific philanthropic objectives or a desire to establish a legacy that extends beyond the immediate family.
Our Approach to Planning for High-Value, Affluent, and Significant Wealth Estates
Our team offers personalized, confidential, and strategic advice to address these complex matters. We build a deep understanding of your unique needs, financial landscape, and long-term aspirations. From there, we tailor an estate plan that incorporates advanced planning techniques designed explicitly for wealth preservation and transfer,
Estate Planning Tools for High-Net-Worth, Affluent, and Significant Wealth Estates
Depending on your unique circumstances, we may recommend a variety of estate planning tools, including:
Family Limited Partnerships or Family Limited Liability Companies: These structures can aid you in retaining control over your assets while offering benefits for asset protection and tax mitigation.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts: This tool can help offset estate taxes and provide liquidity for estate settlement costs.
Dynasty Trusts: These trusts can protect your wealth for multiple generations without incurring estate or generation-skipping transfer taxes.
Charitable Remainder Trusts or Charitable Lead Trusts: These can be used to achieve philanthropic goals while providing income and estate tax benefits.
Private Family Foundations: This option enables you to create a lasting legacy and can offer significant tax advantages.
Remember, estate planning for high-net-worth, affluent, and significant-wealth estates is not a one-time event. We commit to working with you on an ongoing basis to adjust your plan as laws evolve and your personal circumstances change.
Contact Us for Your High-Value, Affluent, and Significant Wealth Estate Planning Needs
Your legacy and the financial future of your loved ones are too critical to leave to chance. Trust in Carson Law Firm to navigate the intricacies of high-value estate planning. We’re dedicated to providing comprehensive, personalized estate planning services that meet your needs and circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What happens in Ohio if you die before your spouse or children?
If you pass away before your spouse or children in Ohio, your assets are distributed according to your will. If you don’t have a will, Ohio’s intestate laws decide how your assets are distributed. These laws typically favor your spouse and children, but the specifics can be complicated. That’s where a trusted, Ohio-licensed attorney comes in to help guide you through the process.
- Who will take care of your children in Ohio if you and your spouse pass while they are still minors?
If you and your spouse pass away while your children are still minors, a guardian must be appointed. If you’ve named a guardian in a legally executed will, that person will be the guardian. If there’s no will, the court will need to appoint a guardian. It’s another reason why having a comprehensive estate plan is so important for families in Ohio.
- What happens in Ohio if you and your spouse die at the same time?
If you and your spouse pass away simultaneously, each estate is typically distributed as though each spouse outlived the other. That means each estate is distributed according to each person’s will or, if there isn’t a will, by Ohio’s laws of intestate succession. This can be a complex situation, and having an estate plan in place with a licensed attorney in Ohio can provide much-needed clarity.
- What happens in Ohio if you become incapacitated or disabled while your spouse is still alive?
In Ohio, if you become incapacitated while your spouse is still alive, documents like a power of attorney or a healthcare directive can give your spouse or another trusted person the ability to make decisions for you. If those aren’t in place, a court may need to appoint a guardian. That’s why it’s so crucial to work with a trusted Ohio-based law firm when setting up your estate plan.
- What happens in Ohio if your spouse becomes incapacitated after you die?
If your spouse becomes incapacitated after you pass away in Ohio, the person named in your spouse’s durable power of attorney would make decisions for them. If there’s no power of attorney, a court-appointed guardian may be necessary. This is another reason why it’s critical to have a comprehensive estate plan in place, which our law firm can help create.
- What happens in Ohio if you have a child who receives government benefits, and they might be disqualified if they inherit your property?
If you’re in Ohio and have a child who receives government benefits, an inheritance could indeed affect their eligibility. To avoid this, an estate planning tool called a Special Needs Trust can be set up. This trust allows your child to inherit without those assets being counted for means-tested government benefits. Setting up a Special Needs Trust involves complex laws and regulations, so it’s best to work with a seasoned attorney in Ohio.
- How does a Revocable Living Trust work in Ohio?
A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that transfers your assets into a trust during your lifetime and then transfers these assets to designated beneficiaries after your death. It’s a popular estate planning tool in Ohio because it avoids probate, provides privacy, and can be altered or revoked at any time while you’re mentally competent. Our Ohio-based law firm has extensive experience in setting up this type of trust.
- What is a Power of Attorney, and why is it important in Ohio estate planning?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants a person or organization the authority to make decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so. In the context of Ohio estate planning, having a Power of Attorney is crucial. It ensures that your financial affairs and healthcare decisions will be handled according to your wishes if you become incapacitated. It can cover a range of decisions, including financial, medical, and even end-of-life choices. A well-crafted Power of Attorney drafted by a licensed attorney in Ohio provides peace of mind that your affairs will be managed by someone you trust in the manner you prefer.
- What are the tax implications of an inheritance in Ohio?
In Ohio, there’s no inheritance tax. However, inherited assets may still be subject to federal estate taxes, depending on their value. It’s important to note that different types of assets can have other tax implications. For instance, if you inherit an IRA or 401(k), you may have to pay income tax on withdrawals. These tax rules can be complex, so it’s beneficial to consult with an Ohio-based estate planning attorney to understand potential tax liabilities and plan accordingly.
- How can an estate planning attorney in Ohio help me avoid probate?
An experienced estate planning attorney in Ohio can help you avoid the time-consuming and often costly probate process through various strategies. These may include setting up living trusts, joint ownership of property, and designating beneficiaries on your financial accounts. Additionally, gifting assets while you’re alive can reduce your estate’s size and avoid probate. Every situation is unique, so a personalized estate plan created by a licensed attorney in Ohio can provide the best strategies to bypass probate under Ohio laws.
- What is the role of an executor in Ohio, and how do I choose one?
In Ohio, the executor of an estate is responsible for administering the decedent’s estate according to their will. Duties typically include gathering and protecting assets, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. It’s important to choose someone who is responsible, trustworthy, and capable of handling these tasks. Our Ohio-based law firm can provide guidance on selecting an executor and navigating the estate administration process in Ohio.
- What are the benefits of setting up an IRA Beneficiary Trust in Ohio?
An IRA Beneficiary Trust is a type of trust that is specifically designed to hold assets from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) upon the death of the account owner. In Ohio, setting up an IRA Beneficiary Trust can provide several benefits. It can offer greater control over the distribution of retirement assets, provide asset protection for beneficiaries, and potentially optimize tax efficiency.