People in Ohio who have prepared a will have taken an important step toward controlling what happens to their estate. For some people, wills that direct their possessions to loved ones could suffice for estate planning. Those hoping to accomplish an efficient transfer of assets, however, might want to expand their estate planning beyond simply executing a will.

Although a will provides a framework for distributing assets, beneficiary designations on bank or investment accounts could put money into the hands of heirs more quickly than a will. A payable on death or transfer on death designation on assets will supplement a will and prepare the way for a smooth transfer of funds or property. Adjusting the deed on a house to transfer on death to one or more heirs could also prove convenient.

Estate plans can encompass more than the distribution of an inheritance. End-of-life planning could include thinking about health care. With an advanced medical directive or living will, one can formally establish wishes about certain medical procedures like resuscitation or life support. This document spares relatives from having to make difficult decisions without knowing with certainty what a person really wanted.

An attorney could inform a client about important issues related to end of life or incapacity. Legal counsel may recommend supplementing a will with a power of attorney that could prevent costly problems and delays if the client suffers a medical crisis and cannot make medical decisions or manage personal affairs. Estate planning might also include setting up one or more trusts to hold assets and increase privacy for heirs. After evaluating the client’s financial situation and goals, an attorney could design a comprehensive estate plan that guides the final wishes efficiently.