Most of us work hard to build up an estate. A house, cars, savings, and personal possessions are all things we strive to acquire. But what happens to the things we worked so hard for when we pass away?
That’s where estate planning comes in. With proper planning, you get to choose who you want to leave your assets to, what they will receive, and when they will receive them. In other words, having an estate plan will guarantee your last wishes will be carried out.
It is always best to hire an Ohio estate planning lawyer to ensure you have a comprehensive estate plan that will best distribute your assets and do so with the maximum tax benefits. Below we explain why having an estate plan is essential and go over some of the many reasons why you should work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Looking for an estate planning attorney in Ohio or have questions about estate planning? Contact Slater & Zurz to arrange your FREE consultation.
- An Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You Avoid the Costly and Lengthy Probate Process
Probate is a legal process that identifies the assets and liabilities of a decedent, pays off outstanding debt, and distributes the remaining assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. If the deceased person has a valid will, the distribution will be done according to the terms outlined in the document. However, if the decedent dies without a will, also referred to as “intestate,” the probate courts or assigned personal representative will do so according to Ohio probate law.
This process can be lengthy, taking no less than six months and often lasting over a year or so. Because this process takes time, it can also be very expensive. An experienced probate attorney can utilize estate planning strategies, such as establishing a trust, to help your estate avoid probate, making the process faster and less costly.
- They Can Help If Your Loved One Died Without a Will
If your loved one dies without a valid will in place, their assets might not be divided according to their wishes. Fortunately, an estate planning attorney can help. They can assist you through the probate process, helping you avoid potential problems and future litigation. They know the ins and outs of probate law and will look after your best interests, ensuring you get the best outcome in the least amount of time.
- They Will Know the Best Way to Protect Your Family and Your Assets
An experienced estate planning attorney will carefully assess your needs and use the estate planning tools that best fit your needs. These tools include a will, trust, power of attorney, medical directive, and guardianship nomination. Your lawyer will use these to your benefit and make sure they are utilized correctly.
- An Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You Avoid Common Mistakes
Your attorney can organize your important documents and account for all of your assets, ensuring nothing is left out. They will also identify any errors or issues, allowing you to address them within your lifetime.
Common mistakes include:
- Not fully completing the estate planning process
- Creating an inadequate estate plan
- Leaving certain beneficiaries or assets out
- Not updating your estate plan after a change of circumstance
- They Can Help You Reduce Tax Liabilities
When you work with an estate planning attorney, they will analyze your estate and come up with the best strategies to avoid or minimize estate taxes, such as creating a trust or setting up tax-free gifts for family members. Your estate’s tax liability can be significant, especially if you have a lot of assets. So, utilizing your attorney’s tax-saving strategies is essential in any effective estate plan.
- They Will Help You Adjust Your Estate Plan to Address Any Changes
Once you have a plan in place, it is important to update your estate plan when any significant change arises. If you work with a probate attorney, you can explain the change in circumstance so they can determine whether any changes should be made to your estate plan. If so, they can do so quickly and effectively, giving you continued peace of mind, knowing your loved ones and assets are protected.
- Your Estate Planning Attorney Can Offer an Objective Perspective
The estate planning process can become an emotional one. Planning what goes where and to whom can be difficult, especially considering family dynamics. An estate planning attorney can help you set emotions aside by offering an objective opinion. They can offer a view from all sides to help you make fair decisions. Being the “voice of reason” can ensure you create an unbiased estate plan, best protecting your family down the road.
Contact Ohio’s Leading Estate Planning Lawyers
One of the most thoughtful things you can do is appropriately plan what will take place after your death. Preparing your estate plan can ensure your last wishes are carried out and that your loved ones will be taken care of. Knowing you have a comprehensive plan in place will give you great peace of mind.
At Slater & Zurz, our probate lawyers have extensive experience and resources to help you plan for your financial future and that of your family members. Our team is committed to protecting your and your family’s best interests and developing a strategy that will protect those you care about and all you worked so hard to get. When you need experience, turn to Slater & Zurz. Call (888) 534-4850 to arrange a FREE, no-obligation consultation today. We have offices across Ohio and are available anytime, day or night, to take your call.