Many people living in Ohio are aware of the importance of having a will. Unfortunately, this awareness does not always lead to taking action and consulting with an attorney to create an estate plan. Failure to do so can create multiple problems both before, and after, an individual passes away.
The recent death of singer Aretha Franklin has brought the issue of estate planning into the national news. Despite having an estate attorney, Franklin died without leaving a will. This means that potential beneficiaries, which in this case include her four sons, will have to go through the probate process to receive their shares of the estate.
While it appears that Franklin’s sons are cooperating with each other, not all families are so lucky. When people die without leaving a will, family relationships become vulnerable as siblings and other relatives may disagree about how an estate is to be managed or divided. In some cases, legal costs can severely deplete the estate’s resources, in some cases leaving little for the beneficiaries to claim.
In addition, a good estate plan will also address issues such as end-of-life planning, including advanced directives, medical powers of attorney and living wills. In addition to a standard will, the plan may also incorporate trusts, designated beneficiaries on insurance and benefit plans and child guardianship arrangements.
Individuals and couples who are considering writing a will or are concerned about estate planning may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. The lawyer could make recommendations regarding a comprehensive plan that takes into consideration the individual needs of the client and his or her family.