The first step for people in Ohio who are creating an estate plan might be make a list of all assets. A person who has dependents should take steps to ensure they are cared for as a will can be used to appoint a guardian for minor children. People might also want to consider taking out a life insurance policy to help support their family. This might include enough coverage to pay for children to go to college.
An individual may want to work with an attorney in creating their estate plan. An attorney may help the person determine what type of estate planning documents are needed. For example, a will appoints an executor to manage the estate and names beneficiaries. Trusts are overseen by one or more trustees, and assets in a trust pass directly to beneficiaries instead of having to go through the probate process.
It is important to choose the right people for the roles of executor and trustee as well as for other roles in the estate plan. People may want to make preparations in case they become incapacitated and cannot make or express their own decisions about health care and finances. There are various ways to arrange this, but it could be done with powers of attorney. In addition, a living will can address preferences for end-of-life care.
An attorney might help a person determine the best way to set up their estate plan based on that person’s individual situation and needs. Someone with just a few assets and no dependents will need a very different type of estate plan than a person with children, a home and a business. Wills and trusts must be compatible with beneficiary designations and other ways of passing assets to beneficiaries since these generally override instructions in a will or trust.