Estate planning can be helpful to people in Ohio and throughout the country. It can ensure that some or all assets avoid probate, facilitate greater asset protection and allow for greater control of assets after death. At the very least, an individual should have a will to increase the odds that their final wishes are met. Failure to have this basic estate plan document could lead to the state deciding where money or property goes after a person passes on.
Asset protection can take many forms. For example, one may buy an insurance policy to provide protection in the event of an injury. It may also make sense to prevent assets from being eroded in a Medicaid spend down. A spend down is done to allow a person to qualify for benefits in the event that he or she is placed in a nursing home.
When a person passes away, there is no guarantee that family members or others will respect his or her post-life wishes. Therefore, it can be worthwhile to provide detailed instructions while still alive. These instructions will control how an asset is distributed, when it is distributed and who is meant to receive it. By allocating assets in a strategic manner, it may be possible to avoid probate and limit the amount of state and federal estate taxes owed.
Going through the estate planning process can help to protect assets now and save money for future generations. This may allow an individual to create and preserve a legacy of providing for family members. An attorney could help a client create an estate plan or review any related documents that have already been made.