For a lot of people the term “estate planning” conjures up images of complex trusts and pages of legalese that no one can benefit from without a seven-figure income. While estate planning can be used like that, the field is actually much broader and it can solve problems that people of all income levels face.
Fundamentally, estate planning is about staying in control. Putting an estate plan in place allows a person to take control of how their possessions are used and distributed after they pass on. However, estate planning attorney offers more than just financial control. People who put an estate plan in place can also control how their own lives are managed in the event that something interferes with their ability to make decisions for themselves.
The main benefits that people think of when they consider estate planning are the financial ones. Putting an estate plan in place can allow someone to ensure that their property goes to the people that they most want to have it. One of the easiest ways to do that is through the creation of a will. Without a will, a person’s possessions pass as directed by Ohio’s intestacy laws. This means that certain relatives get a legal right to take a person’s property, even if they are not the people that the deceased would have chosen. This can lead to all sorts of unfortunate results, such as family heirlooms ending up outside the family because of divorce, or siblings squabbling over property during a highly emotional time.
However, wills are not the only way that people can use estate planning to express their final wishes. People who choose to create an estate plan also have the option of setting up trusts instead of or in addition to a will. These trusts are sets of money and or property that the person can leave for a specific purpose, and designate a trusted person to manage with an eye towards that purpose. Trusts can be used for a diverse array of purposes, from charitable contributions to ensuring that young children or other relatives are properly cared for.
Control Over Your Life
Importantly, estate planning is more than just control of money. It can help a person keep control over their own life as well. While no one likes to think about potential problems, an accident, illness or even just age can result in a person’s no longer being able make decisions about what is best for them. If that circumstance should arise, an estate plan can help in two ways. First, living wills, also known as advance directives, allow people to write down how they want their possible end-of-life care handled beforehand so that it is properly carried out when the time comes. Second, estate planning allows people to create powers of attorney, documents that give other people the power to make decisions on behalf of the person. This lets people designate trusted family and friends to manage their affairs in the event that it becomes necessary.
Estate planning deals with topics that many people are not comfortable dwelling on, but setting up an estate plan can help everyone stay in better control of their lives. If you would like more information about setting up an estate plan, contact a Youngstown estate planning attorney today at the Law Office of John C. Grundy.