The Last Will & Testament is part of our basic estate planning package. This is a document needed by any person over the age of 18 regardless of financial circumstances. A properly executed Last Will & Testament will save your loved ones an inordinate amount of time and money in the event of your death. A Will can name an executor, waive the standard bond requirement, customize distributions, and dictate penalties for Will-challengers.
These two documents are part of our basic estate planning package and are perhaps the most important documents any individual can have when you consider their inexpensive nature. The purpose of these documents is to prevent the need for Guardianship in the event of disability or illness. As you age, the risk of a health or mental disability rises, whether physical or mental. When you are young an unfortunate disability could leave your parents or loved ones with a lifelong burden. These are inexpensive documents that allow for a trusted spouse or child to take over your responsibilities without an expensive court order.
A Living Will is evidence of your end-of-life choices and is part of our basic estate planning package. In the event that you become so incapacitated that you are in a permanent unconscious state, you will have loved ones that will wonder what your choice are. The greatest relief anyone can provide a child in such a situation are the words: "You don't have to decide what Mom or Dad would have wanted, they've already told you."
While it is possible to avoid probate entirely without a Trust (and this law office will help you do just that when proper), often times families will find that a Probate Avoidance Trust helps to solve complicated problems or otherwise offer peace of mind in the event of unusual circumstances.
When a person dies, a probate court is necessary to distribute that person's assets. A bank or brokerage account won't simply accept a death certificate and hand the assets over to the spouse or children. They will need an Order from a Probate Court judge. This is a costly and time consuming process and considering the low cost of probate avoidance it is an entirely unnecessary burden to place upon your loved ones.
A Probate Avoidance Trust can help allow nearly immediate distribution of funds as opposed to months or even years through the probate process. Or a Probate Avoidance Trust can allow for timed distributions of assets on a schedule that you choose to better accommodate your children as they mature.
Besides allowing for any level of complexity desired in asset distribution, some of the most important aspects of a Probate Avoidance Trust are the safeguards put in place. Safeguards that no one wants to need, but are all too often needed. A prime example is preventing assets you want to pass to your kids from being taken by an aggressive creditor. Drug addiction or "failure to launch" are additional issues that a Probate Avoidance Trust can mitigate.
Guardianships are necessary for many people. When an elderly person is unable to manage their own affairs anymore and a loving friend or relative is willing to take over the responsibility so that they may remain in their own home, a Guardianship is necessary. If an incompetent person turns 18 and is therefore a legal adult, a Guardianship must be established; even if it is simply mom & dad preserving their status as mom & dad.
This law office is experienced in establishing guardianships and guiding you through the complicated process.
When you have a disabled child who receives benefits from programs such as Social Security or Medicaid, you know that their benefits are conditioned on their total assets.
If you, a grandparent, or loved one leaves your child a gift in their Last Will & Testament or names them a beneficiary of a Trust, that gift can disrupt your child's benefits for an extended penalty period or require a pay back to the State of Ohio.
A Discretionary Trust, professionally constructed just for your family, is the perfect way to establish a low-maintenance financial vehicle that can act as a protected repository for any gifts that family wish to leave for your child. The Trust will benefit ONLY your disabled child while they are alive and allows you to decide how any excess funds are used after that child passes away. Under current law, a well designed Discretionary trust can avoid paying any funds back to the State of Ohio.
While a Discretionary Trust is the ideal version of a Special Needs Trust, a "payback" Trust is frequently necessary when a disabled child or adult receives an unexpected settlement or a gift from a deceased relative. A "payback" Trust allows for the disabled individual to retain their Medicaid or Social Security benefits while also enjoying the increased quality of life derived from the additional assets. The major drawback to the "payback" Trust is that all excess funds at the time of the disabled individual's death must be paid back to the State of Ohio. There are a number of restrictions on the construction and use of a "payback" Trust and it is important to speak with a qualified attorney before choosing to establish this type of Trust.
We are well-versed in select landlord / tenant services that we offer to landlords in general and of course to our clients who inherit rental property. We construct landlord-friendly leases and we offer same-day reaction time for evictions. We know probate is stressful and a non-paying tenant causes enormous additional costs. No one will legally remove a lease-breaking tenant faster than this law firm.