Akron Wills and Trusts Attorney

No one wants to think about the end of their life. It is an unpleasant and painful thought. But planning for your family’s future in the event of your death is very important.

Putting legal guidelines in place to protect your assets and property is critical. Determining what will happen with your estate and who will inherit the things you leave behind is vital.

Most people are uncertain about how to plan their estate. The laws in Summit County can be confusing and complex. For this reason, make sure to speak with a Summit County wills and trusts lawyer about how to plan the handling of your estate.

A skilled wills and trusts attorney will walk you through the entire process. The type of documents you draft will depend on your family’s needs and your wishes.

The accomplished wills and trusts lawyers at Slater & Zurz have decades of experience. We will gladly provide you with legal guidance to ensure your wishes are faithfully executed. To consult with a lawyer for wills and trusts, contact our firm by calling (330) 762-0700 today.

The Distinction Between Wills and Trusts

There are many ways to plan for your family’s financial future in the aftermath of your death. Wills and trusts are two of the most common documents used in estate planning.

Most people are unaware of the important distinctions between these two types of estate planning documents. In short, wills go through probate, and trusts do not.

The probate process involves the courts overseeing the administration of your final wishes.

Understanding Wills

Wills are declarations of how you want your assets and property to be distributed upon your death. Wills may also name guardians for your children if they are minors.

A will also names an “executor” for your estate. This position is also called a “personal representative.”

The executor of your estate is the person assigned to ensure that your wishes are carried out appropriately. Upon your death, the executor will present your will to the courts to begin the process of probate.

It is important to note that not every type of asset is required to go through the probate process. This process can be lengthy and expensive.

Property with an assigned beneficiary can be distributed outside of the probate process. Some examples include:

  • IRAs
  • Life insurance compensation
  • Retirement plans
  • And more

When the decedent and a survivor jointly hold property, it can be passed along without going through probate. Speak with an Akron wills and trusts lawyer to determine the best course of action given your financial situation.

The wills and trusts lawyers at Slater & Zurz will carefully review your circumstances. They will help you draft an estate plan that minimizes costs and maximizes assets for your family.

Understanding Trusts

Living trusts are similar to wills but function differently in some ways. Trusts also protect your assets and property after your death or in the event of incapacitation.

When you assign assets to a trust before your death, they do not have to go through the probate process. This can save your family time, energy, and money when settling your estate.

Drafting a trust requires you to name a “trustee.” This is the person who will convey your assets according to your wishes. The trustee is also permitted to manage resources for your minor children and beneficiaries.

Because living trusts allow individuals to bypass the costly and time-consuming probate process, they are advantageous in many situations. It is important to speak with a lawyer in Akron regarding estate planning before it is too late.

The type of trust you choose to draft will determine how the assets in that trust are taxed, protected, and overseen. A lawyer for wills and trusts will help you decide which of the following types of trusts best meets your needs:

  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Revocable trusts
  • Special needs trusts
  • Charitable trusts

If you need to determine the best legal course of action, speak with an attorney for wills and trusts. One of the skilled Akron wills and trusts lawyers at Slater & Zurz will help you build a plan that protects your assets and property.

Avoiding Probate in Ohio

Many people in Akron hope to avoid the expensive and inconvenient probate process. The state of Ohio requires wills to go through a formal courtroom probate proceeding, except in cases of very small estates.

This requires executors to delay the distribution of the decedent’s assets. If you fail to avoid probate with the help of a lawyer in Akron, your family may only receive a portion of your assets and property.

Another reason that many hope to avoid this proceeding is that it is a public process. Unlike with a trust, the courts will determine what happens to your estate during probate. This means that your family’s financial information may become a matter of public record.

A knowledgeable Akron wills and trusts lawyer will work hard to help you avoid costly proceedings like probate. This will ensure that your loved ones receive as much of your assets and property as possible.

When You Should Hire an Estate Planning Attorney

Some people believe that only retirees and the elderly need to contact an attorney for wills and trusts. This view is mistaken.

No one can accurately predict when they will become incapacitated. Sadly, people of all ages face the possibility of suffering fatal injuries or illnesses.

Even if you are in perfect health, speaking with a lawyer for wills and trusts is a good idea. Planning ahead will help you avoid the worst-case scenarios for your family in the event of your death or disability.

Some of the most common situations in which you should consult with a lawyer for wills and trusts include:

  • You own or are a partner in a small business
  • You own property or assets outside of Ohio
  • You hope to leave a charitable legacy
  • You want to bequeath assets to a stepchild or half-sibling
  • You have foreign assets or property
  • You have family members with special needs

These are only a few examples of situations in which you would benefit from speaking to an estate planning attorney. The knowledgeable legal team at Slater & Zurz will help you build an estate plan that minimizes loss and ensures that your wishes are enacted.

A skilled legal representative will help you:

  • Draft last will and testaments that are difficult to contest
  • Lead you through the process of setting up a trust
  • Build contingency plans for unexpected events
  • Plan for desired charitable giving
  • Ensure that your end-of-life preferences are respected
  • Determine power of attorney for healthcare decisions
  • Answer any questions you have regarding Ohio estate planning

Do not let the probate process keep your family from receiving the property and assets that you want to leave them. Speak with a legal professional to craft a plan to protect your assets.

Frequently Asked Questions
+

A legal professional who develops trusts and wills is known as an “estate planning” attorney. Laws surrounding estate planning are highly complex. So individuals should consult with a seasoned professional to ensure their assets are safe.

Some people believe that all lawyers have the same skills and knowledge base. However, there are many different subfields of the legal profession.

It is critical to hire a wills and trusts specialist to ensure that your estate is planned properly. Failing to do so could result in the loss of inheritance for your loved ones.

+

Finding the right estate attorney to help you may seem like a challenge. However, take the following steps to ensure you hire a premier estate planning lawyer.

First, get referrals for reliable law firms in the Akron area. Some of the best places to search for referrals include:

  • Friends and family members
  • Coworkers
  • Financial advisors
  • Accountants
  • The Ohio Bar Association

After gathering a list of attorneys, you should consult with those lawyers specializing in estate planning. During a consultation, make sure to ask any questions that will help you better understand the legal process.

+

A trust attorney will represent your best interests and wishes. When drafting your will or trust, the legal professional’s job is to draft documentation that protects your wishes.

This means that the wills and trusts protecting your estate should be clear and unambiguous. In the event of your incapacitation or death, the executor of your estate should be able to enact your wishes appropriately.

Why You Should Call Slater & Zurz

An estate planning lawyer can help an assigned trustee to meet the requirements for handling the decedent’s desires. When you hire one of the skilled estate planning attorneys at Slater & Zurz, you can rest assured that you will have reliable wills and trusts. Our firm has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years. When you need legal representation in Akron, Ohio, look no further than the accomplished team at Slater & Zurz. Call our office today at (330) 762-0700.