Written by Richard Chamberlain, Founder and principal attorney
of Chamberlain Law Group, Ltd
There are essentially 5 reasons why people need to set up an estate plan for themselves. A good estate plan will address all 5 of these issues.
First, estate planning avoids unintended results. Without a plan in place, you won’t have control over who receives your assets or who is going to be in charge of your estate. The State of Ohio has a plan for who receives your assets if you don’t have an estate plan of your own. In addition, without a plan in place, the process of administering your estate will be much more expensive and difficult. Having an estate plan allows you to avoid these unintended results.
Second, people do estate planning so that their estate avoids probate. By avoiding probate they are able to avoid the pitfalls of probate, such as the increased fees and costs, loss of privacy, and loss of control over your assets. Setting your estate plan up correctly allows your estate to avoid the probate process and be much more effective and efficient.
Third, people do estate planning to protect their beneficiaries. Whether your beneficiaries are minors or adults, they can still benefit from the protections that a good estate plan can provide them. With the right kind of planning you can protect them from creditors, inexperience with handling money, addiction or spendthrift issues, or even a possible divorce.
Fourth, good estate planning can preserve family harmony and reduce the risk of fights or disputes among your loved ones. Without the right plan in place that directs who will be responsible for paying your final expenses, your taxes, and the other costs associated with your estate, your beneficiaries could end up fighting each other over those things. We’ve even seen family members suing each other over the administration of a parent’s estate. The right kind of planning can reduce the risk of having your family torn apart over your estate.
Finally, the fifth reason people do estate planning is to protect and preserve their assets. That could be simply reducing the amount of fees, costs and taxes that are imposed on their estate, or it could be asset protection planning to protect your assets from your potential creditors or from the costs of nursing home expenses.
If you have any questions, or would like to take a look at how doing or updating your estate plan can accomplish these things for you and your loved ones, please call my office at 419-872-7670, and we will set up a no-cost initial consultation for you.