Why draft a Last Will and Testament?
If you do not have a properly drafted Last Will and Testament, you are allowing the State of Ohio to draft your will for you. If there is no will in place, your property will be divided and distributed in accordance with the Ohio Statute of Descent and Distribution, rather than by your own wishes. You will also lose the ability to select a person of your choosing to administer your will as Executor, will likely face increased administrative costs, and will prolong the process of disposing of your estate because many of the things that can be achieved by your Executor if you have created a Last Will and Testament will have to be approved by the probate court in the county in which you resided at the time of your death.
What can a Last Will and Testament do?
In your will, you can:
- Dispose of your property by designating who you would like to inherit various items or types of property in your possession at the time of your death
- Dictate who you would like to care for your children after you are gone
- Set up a trust to protect your children’s inheritance if they are too young to manage funds and property when you pass away
- Designate someone you trust as the person to be placed in charge of distributing your property in accordance with your wishes
What other documents can make up a complete Estate Plan?
Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney: These two documents are largely interchangeable and essentially express your wishes regarding future medical decisions and the circumstances, if any, under which you want to terminate life support. The Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to designate someone to make important medical decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated, and also gives that person direction as to how you would like those decisions to be made. The Living Will indicates who should be contacted if you become incapacitated and hospitalized, and expresses your wishes regarding organ donation and the possible termination of life support if you are in a persistent vegetative state.
Both of these documents are recommended at the time you draft your Last Will and Testament because they prevent future battles over what you would have wanted if you could speak for yourself, and because they take pressure off of family members who might be forced to make these decisions for you if you have not expressed your wishes ahead of time.
Durable General Power of Attorney: This document allows you to designate someone to handle your financial affairs should you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself. If you become incapacitated, you will have pre-designated a person you trust to step in and pay bills and manage accounts on your behalf.
Why Caparella-Kraemer & Associates?
The attorneys at Caparella-Kraemer & Associates have the capacity and the compassion to guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive estate plan. We have experience drafting estate plans for a wide variety of clients, each with unique concerns and wishes. We will listen to what you want, and help guide you in decisions. Give us a call at: (513) 942-7222