TOP 5 Reasons Why You Need An Estate Planning Attorney
Many people that live in Central Ohio pass away with no will or any last preparations for their family. It’s true, Estate Planning is often unpleasant to think about. Nobody wants to think of their own demise, but there is some comfort in knowing that your affairs are squared away. It is the responsible choice for helping family members cope with death. The probate process can be difficult to navigate for any member of your family. It is never a good idea to prepare such important documents alone. At Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., we recommend that you seek experienced counsel who can ensure that your last wishes are respected and that you have the documentation in place to ensure a smooth transfer of your assets.
Here are the top five reasons why it is imperative to hire an estate planning attorney:
1. Avoiding Probate Court
Probate court can be a nightmare for anyone dealing with the passing of a loved one. Probate is a legal process that all estates must enter after a person passes, if there are titled assets that cannot pass without an appointed person to act. It is not a contentious process, but the assets can be tied up for months on end. Also, the probate fees can put a massive hole in the funds from the estate.
Many times, certain assets can be transferred outside the probate process with proper planning. It is best to speak with experienced counsel, such as those at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., who can review the types of assets that you have to try and allow for passage outside probate.
2. Specific Desires Are Met
When there is no Will, the estate is governed by the intestate succession laws in the State of Ohio. Ohio has specific as to who is entitled to inherit and who has no standing to inherit. According to the legal relationship of the person that is deceased, these laws dictate how much each family member receives. Unfortunately, the regulations do not take into consideration the wishes of the deceased.
This can be detrimental if the deceased was unmarried, but cohabitated with a significant other for many years. If there is no Will to provide for their inheritance, the significant other would receive nothing from the decedent’s estate. The same goes for step-children, as there is no blood or marriage relationship.
3. Distribution of Assets
While money is a big concern when someone passes away, it is not the only apprehension. Distribution of assets is a significant source of contention among family members. It does not matter if the item has a significant or low economic value, family members may still fight over them. An attorney can draft a guideline that will specify who gets what, of any personal property. Even down to the smallest of personal effects, a Will can help avoid any family drama after a death.
There are also other ways that assets can be distributed upon death that do not require probate court intervention. Real Estate, financial accounts, and life insurance (to name a few) can often be taken care of with proper beneficiary designations. This would allow that asset to pass outside a costly probate action. Discussing your assets in depth with an attorney will allow you to make the right choices for your assets.
4. Design a Portfolio Of Assets
A portfolio of assets is a must for many people. The Will allows the beneficiary to be named for assets like pension plans, life insurance policies and other monies. Having this portfolio puts everything in one secure place, and it gives a clear picture of what goes where. Only an experienced estate planning attorney, like Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., can sort out the entire estate and make sure everything is in order when the time comes.
5. Burial Wishes Are Honored
Everyone has a different vision for their burial. Some want to be cremated while others prefer to be in a mausoleum. Some may want a modest service, and others want a big send off. The choice is rather personal, and unless it is written down with clear instructions, then it is hard for the family to know what to do. Control of the body does not come with the standard division of property. Cremated remains can also be a significant debate among family members. A savvy estate attorney can draft documents that ensure wishes for burial and ashes after cremation are honored.
Reliable legal advice from an estate planning attorney is valuable both today and in the future. Central Ohio has knowledgeable legal representation that can help deal with these delicate matters. Call Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced attorney who can design and estate plan that best fits your needs.
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