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Westerville Ohio Legal Blog

How you can prevent family battles over your estate

One of the advantages of having an estate plan is that there's less chance that your family and other beneficiaries (or people who think they should be beneficiaries) will battle over your assets. Even if you have a close-knit family whom you're certain would never turn on one another, the sad fact is that money combined with long-simmering resentments can cause serious family battles.

You don't have to disclose the contents of your estate plan to your family. However, if you're making decisions that you think could surprise or disappoint people, it might be best to let them know about them while you're still around. The important thing is that they understand that you were fully aware of your decisions, have reasons for them and haven't been unduly influenced by anyone.

Farm succession planning should begin years before you retire

Too many Ohio farmers are so busy running their businesses that they haven't taken the time to consider what will happen to them after they're gone or unable to run them any longer. Estate planning is important for just about everyone. For farmers, it's essential.

The average American farmer is nearly 60 years old. It's estimated that some 70 percent of farms will end up in new hands over the next 20 years. However, about half of all farmers in this country have no estate plan.

Letter of last instruction can provide useful estate information

As you consider your end-of-life wishes, you may have many details on your mind. You may also wonder what documents are appropriate for housing these details and providing your family with necessary instruction when the time comes. A variety of estate planning tools exist that can help with this endeavor, but you may also want to consider less-formal documentation.

In particular, a letter of last instruction could be immensely useful to your family and your estate plan over all. This letter is not a legally-binding document, but it can provide a considerable amount of useful information. It can also include any information you believe your family needs, whether it is information about your estate or more sentimental thoughts.

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The best time to plan for the future is now, before you find yourself in unexpected circumstances. Call us today at 614-423-4619 or toll-free at 888-428-0610. You may also email our firm. We work with clients in Columbus and throughout Ohio.

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Metz, Bailey & McLoughlin
33 E. Schrock Road
Suite 1
Westerville, OH 43081

Toll Free: 888-428-0610
Phone: 614-423-4619
Fax: 614-882-5150
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