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What are some common estate planning myths?

Estate planning in Ohio is the process of ensuring your assets are managed after your death. Having a good plan ensures the court does not have to get involved and can make things much easier for your loved ones. While you have probably heard of estate planning, you may not fully understand it or why it is important thanks to the many myths out there.

Avoiding estate planning? Here's what you need to know

Thinking of death and end-of-life plans is understandably uncomfortable for most people in Ohio. Even more uncomfortable, perhaps, is leaving loved ones with a messy estate and no proper guidance during their time of grieving.

How can I decide at what age to grant inheritance?

One of the important aspects of developing your estate plan in Ohio is to determine who will get your assets. For most people, this means delegating your money. You will likely leave it to your spouse, if you have one, and your children. However, if you are doing your estate planning early, as you should, your children may still be young.

Your new issue is deciding at what age to allow your kids to have their inheritance. This is something many people struggle with, but there are a few good options to help you figure out what will work best in your situation.

Is it possible to divorce-proof a marriage?

Obviously, when you get married, you never expect to end up in an Ohio divorce court. However, the reality is that many couples do end up divorced. You may wonder if there are certain qualities or characteristics of couples who divorce which could point to what not to do if you want your marriage to last. While there is no guarantee that your marriage will last, there may actually be things you can do that reduce the chances of it ending.

According to The Atlantic, a study showed that couples whose marriages last share some distinct characteristics in common. Perhaps modeling your marriage after them could give you a better chance of avoiding a divorce. 

The first slow steps towards expanding your family

Many Ohio residents like you have found ways to make their familial wishes into reality through legal processes, such as surrogacy and adoption. At Kroener Hale, we are happy to serve as a source of information on these typically complicated legal options.

One of the questions we often receive regards the duration of the adoption process. While the answer varies, we often see significant time elapse between initial action and finalization of the paperwork. You might be anxious at the prospect of waiting, but there are ways you might turn the situation to your advantage.

What are some common misunderstandings about child support?

If you pay child support in Ohio, there may be many things you are not certain about. Even if you pay your support on time every time, there may still be things you wonder about. The system is complex and often confusing, so it can help to get some clarity on different points.

A common question involves how child support is calculated. According to the Ohio Bar Association, calculations for child support are made using both parents' income. Adjustments are made to the income to allow for living costs. The court's ruling is not always final because modifications can be made at later dates when major changes occur. Support payment amounts may be adjusted due to things such as the loss of a job, changing jobs, a child turning 18 or if the needs of the child change. 

Have you considered your long-term care needs?

At any point in your life, you could suffer a serious injury or illness that results in the possibility of your losing the ability to care for yourself. Though older individuals have a particular susceptibility to this issue, adults of any age may want to consider planning ahead for the possibility of incapacitation. With a solid long-term care plan, you may feel more secure in knowing that your needs will be handled in the manner you desired.

Long-term care planning could go into your overall estate plan, and making these plans together could help ensure that your instructions are enforceable. Because your long-term care could encompass various needs, you may want to make certain considerations before deciding what type of care plan could work best for your circumstances.

What are some single parent estate planning tips?

As a single parent, it is your job to make sure you have prepared your estate for when you die. Death is quite unexpected, so the sooner you can formulate your estate plan, the better. If you do not create a plan, then the state of Ohio will step in and do it for you upon your death. You certainly do not want that to happen. Worse yet, your estate could end up in probate, meaning your finances cannot be touched until the court is finished, which could be bad for your family. 

Your best bet is to get your estate in order now. According to the Huffington Post, you need to create several legal documents that will set up your estate plans. It can help to begin with a will. A will can outline many of your wishes. It can designate a guardian for your children and clarify where your assets will go. If you have minor children, you should also consider setting up a trust. You put money into the trust for the care of your children. It can also be set up so the children cannot touch the money until they reach a certain age. A trust can help ensure your money is not misused.

How adoptive families are matched with a child

For those new to adoption, the process may seem a bit unclear. Understanding more about how children are placed with families can help adoptive parents to understand the process better and help them as they go through it. In Ohio, parents do not just choose a child and start the adoption process. It actually is a collaborative effort between many agencies to help ensure the child and family are a good match. 

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services explains an assessor assigned by the agency will review a family before looking at possible children for adoption. The assessor looks at the family dynamics, their strengths and their needs. Then, the assessor looks at available children and matches them to the family based on how well they will fit within it. However, it is ultimately the family's decision on which child they will adopt as they are given information on the child the agency chooses to review before making the final choice. 

The right child custody choice for your unique family

Every Ohio family is different, and for this reason, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to child custody concerns. If you are facing the end of your marriage, you know that you will face difficult decisions regarding child custody, but there are various options available that could benefit your family. When you know all of the options available, you may be able to work on a beneficial solution outside of court. 

There are various types of child custody. Children benefit when they are able to maintain a strong relationship with both parents after a divorce, and you would be wise to consider how the type of custody arrangement you choose will impact your child for years to come. The ultimate goal of any child custody arrangement is to protect the best interests of the children.

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