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Trusts and Wills in Ohio

Does the idea of estate planning make you feel a little uncomfortable? If so, you’re not alone. You can’t help but confront your own mortality when considering an estate plan, which is hard for everyone. However, it’s risky to grow older without a comprehensive plan. Without an estate plan, you are essentially handing over control of your estate to the state of Ohio after your death. The state will choose who receives your assets and cares for your minor children. Also, the state will decide who will care for you and who will control your money if you are alive but can no longer make decisions.

Fortunately, an estate planning attorney can help you maintain control with irrevocable and revocable trusts and wills. An Ohio estate planning lawyer can also help with special needs trusts and a full range of legal issues related to your estate plan.

What is a Will?

Your Ohio trust and will lawyer will likely recommend that you draft a will. The will is usually the foundation of a comprehensive estate plan and allows you to choose who will receive your property and care for your minor children. Your will won’t go into effect until you pass away. That means that as long as you are of sound mind, you maintain legal authority and can revoke or modify it whenever you wish.

Your will must go through probate court after you pass away. Once it clears probate, the estate executor will distribute your property according to your instructions.

Your estate planning attorney can assist with the entire process, from drafting the will to representing your family during probate. Then, you and your family won’t have to worry about what will happen to your estate.

However, most people want to avoid probate. Since the will is the set of instructions for probate, a Will may not be what you want to direct the distribution of your assets upon your passing.

Probate can be avoided. A living trust is a good tool for doing that and providing direction during your lifetime as well as upon your passing.

What is a Trust?

A trust is just another way to hold your stuff. A trust can put instructions in place to address multiple possibilities or scenarios. It is a much more flexible tool than a will.

A trust is a legal tool created by an individual, or grantor, to secure their assets and guide their distribution after death. It can simplify the often lengthy, public, and potentially expensive probate process for families and beneficiaries. The trust is outlined in a legal document detailing the terms and assigned assets. The grantor appoints a trustee to manage these assets for the beneficiaries’ benefit. Living trusts can be either revocable or irrevocable, each with different tax implications and degrees of flexibility.

Your trust and will lawyer might recommend a trust after reviewing your estate. While there are lots of options, all trusts have three main components. First, there is the creator of the trust. Then, there is the trustee and, finally, the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

When you create a trust, you transfer assets into it. Depending on the type of trust, it might shield the assets from creditors and taxes.

Your lawyer will explain your options, including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, asset protection, and Medicaid planning trusts. Then, you can decide which option makes the most sense for you and your family.

Top Benefits of Trusts and Wills

  • Designate beneficiaries
  • Name a guardian for minor children
  • Avoid a conservatorship or guardianship
  • Protect assets
  • Avoid Probate
  • Saves time and money

Is It Possible to Cancel a Trust?

You can create a revocable or irrevocable trust. If you choose a revocable trust, you can serve as the trustee and revoke it at any time. Even an irrevocable trust (the type we use for asset protection and Medicaid benefits eligibility planning) can be undone if it suits your needs. And, contrary to what you might expect, you can make changes to certain types of irrevocable trusts. This is one of the reasons you should consider working with a skilled elder law attorney. Far too many attorneys and other professionals do not fully understand the adaptability and flexibility that can be included in certain types of irrevocable trusts. An irrevocable trust can provide tax benefits. In addition, it can help you plan for long-term care by shielding assets from creditors and an otherwise unfettered long-term care spend down. Speak to your attorney to see which type of trust will benefit you moving forward.

When Do I Need a Trust and/or Will?

You cannot start too early when it comes to estate planning. And you don’t need to be embarrassed if you haven’t taken any steps yet. Whether you are a young adult or enjoying your golden years, it’s the ideal time to create a will or trust. Once you set up the will and/or trust, you should review your estate plan regularly to see if you need to modify it. Your attorney can assist with this as well.

The most important step is getting started!

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Frequently Asked Questions

A will is a legal document that outlines how your property and assets should be distributed after your death. A trust, on the other hand, can be used to transfer property and assets during your lifetime or after death. The main difference between the two lies in the legal process involved. Wills must go through probate court, a process that can be time-consuming and costly, whereas trusts avoid probate court, allowing for a more seamless transition of assets. As an Ohio estate planning lawyer, we can help you understand these differences and choose the best option for your situation.

A comprehensive estate plan goes beyond just drafting a last will or setting up a trust. It includes other important legal documents such as a power of attorney and a living will. It also considers the needs of minor children, tax benefits, long-term care, and asset protection strategies. Having a comprehensive plan ensures that a full array of legal issues are addressed and your family’s future is secured. Our Ohio estate planning services at Jarvis Law are designed to understand your needs and provide a fully tailored solution.
Revocable trusts, also known as living trusts, can be altered or canceled by the trust maker during their lifetime. Certain types of irrevocable trusts, can also be modified once they are created. Both types of trusts have different tax implications and asset protection features that should be considered in the estate planning process. Under Ohio law, the assets in an irrevocable trust are not considered part of your estate for tax purposes and are protected from creditors and from a Medicaid spend down or estate recovery lien. Revocable trusts allow for more control over assets but offer less protection. As experienced elder law attorneys, we can guide you in creating the right type of trust for your estate.
Probate is a legal process that verifies the validity of a will and distributes assets according to the last will. However, probate is often lengthy and expensive. An estate planning attorney can help you set up legal structures such as trusts and joint ownership that can bypass the probate process, ensuring your assets are transferred to your loved ones efficiently and usually at a significantly lower cost. At Jarvis Law, our extensive knowledge of Ohio estate planning and probate laws helps us provide effective probate avoidance strategies.
A special needs trust is designed to benefit individuals with disabilities who qualify for government assistance, including health insurance coverage and other vital programs. The assets in this type of trust do not count towards the individual’s asset limit for these programs, thus preserving their eligibility. If you have a loved one with special needs, setting up a special needs trust can be an important step in securing their future without jeopardizing their benefits. Our Ohio estate planning lawyers can guide you through this complex legal process to ensure your estate plans encompass all of your loved ones’ unique needs.
An executor, named in a will, is responsible for managing the estate through the probate process, including paying debts and distributing assets to loved ones and other beneficiaries. The executor does not come into their role until after you have passed away, which can leave a hole in many plans if you were to become incapacitated prior to your passing. A trustee, on the other hand, is appointed in a trust document and is responsible for managing the trust property according to the terms of the trust. Trusts provide a vital bridge in the transition of managing decisions, according to your wishes, both in the event of incapacity and upon your passing. Both roles require a high level of responsibility and legal authority. As your trust and will attorneys in Ohio, we can help you choose the right individuals for these pivotal roles.
Estate planning involves many complex legal issues that require broad and focused knowledge about the many things that can occur in the second half of life. An elder law attorney not only understands these complexities but also has a deep understanding of issues specific to older adults, such as long-term care and retirement planning. At Jarvis Law, our Ohio elder law attorneys offer comprehensive estate planning services, providing you with peace of mind that your family’s future is in good hands.

Please note that the information provided here is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice. It is recommended to consult with an attorney from Jarvis Law Office to obtain personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

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