Planning For What’s To Come And Ohio Probate
Who needs a will? The answer may surprise you: Nearly every working adult or parent can benefit from a will. Why? Because a will lets family and loved ones know what is wanted. When there is no will, a person is said to have died “intestate.” In these cases, the state decides what happens and “who gets what.”
At Ferguson Legal Group, LTD, we know that no one likes to consider their own death. But the best time to plan is now. If you are nearing retirement age, we can also discuss your Medicaid and Medicare status and how that will affect your retirement options and long-term care. We know it is not pleasant to think about. But it will happen. Knowing this, the best thing you can do to prepare is to create a will.
What Is A Will?
A will, also referred to as a “last will and testament,” is a legal document. It specifies who will receive which of your possessions and assets. A will can contain other directive documents such as a living will. A living will addresses end of life decisions and tells people what you want to happen if you become incapacitated.
For example, you may want every available medical procedure undertaken to save your life. Or you may want some procedures undertaken but not others. You may opt for no heroic measure to be undertaken, only that you be given palliative care in the event that you are deemed terminal or permanently unconscious. These directives can be as detailed as you wish. The more detail you include, the less guessing your loved ones will need to do.
You can also designate a health care proxy or durable power of attorney. This is the person who will make decisions for you regarding your care if you are unable to do so.
If you designate a financial power of attorney (POA), this will give another person the power to pay bills and make purchases and financial transactions on your behalf should you become unable.
For some estates, it may be wise to create a trust. A trust can shield assets from creditors and have certain tax protections. Some trusts can also make the probate process unnecessary as the assets in a trust are distributed directly to the beneficiaries upon the death of the trust creator or “grantor.” Trusts are managed by a trustee who is designated by the grantor.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the process that happens after someone dies and their estate needs to be distributed to the heirs. For estates valued at less than $5,000 in Ohio, no probate is needed. However, most estates are valued at over this amount, particularly if there is a house or real property involved. A personal representative is in charge of overseeing this process which includes a public notification of the death, notification of the heirs and an inventory of the estate, among other duties.
Personal representatives are often not equipped to take on this task without help. At Ferguson Legal Group, LTD, we are here to assist you. We understand the process, how to fill out and file required documents and meet deadlines, how to assess and pay debts and how to deal with heirs who may be impatient with the process. Our legal staff has extensive experience with wills, trusts and Ohio probate.
Get The Compassionate Assistance You Need
We understand how difficult it is to think about the inevitable. But it is wise and generous to take care of these details now so that your family is not left with the task. Get the process started today. Call 937-502-1040 and set up a free consultation. You can also send questions or set up a free initial consultation via our confidential website email.