People in Ohio may hesitate to create an estate plan. While it can be a difficult topic, estate planning is important for ensuring that a person’s wishes are carried out and beneficiaries are taken care of.

Ideally, the estate plan can be discussed with the entire family. Starting the conversation can be difficult but necessary. In addition to assets with monetary value, people should also consider their sentimental items and what they want to happen to them. It may be best to work with an estate planning attorney throughout this process. Friends or family members might be able to provide recommendations. People who have a role in the estate plan, including those granted power of attorney, should be chosen just as carefully. A person who has financial power of attorney has the ability to manage a person’s finances if the person is incapacitated. A will can appoint a person for another important role, that of a guardian for minor children.

Retirement plans and life insurance are the assets that are most commonly updated by beneficiary designation, and people should review them to ensure that they remain up-to-date. People might want to consider including other elements in their estate plan as well, such as funeral planning instructions.

A health care power of attorney or advance directive can appoint someone to take over the person’s medical care if the person is unable to express their wishes. People may also want to create a living will to specify their wishes for end-of-life care. An attorney might assist with this as well as helping a person determine whether one or more trusts might be useful as part of an estate plan. These can keep an estate plan private and out of probate as well as having other advantages, but a will is sufficient for many people.