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Cleveland Ohio Legal Blog

Understanding the roles of an executor of an estate

We all are faced with difficult decisions that we must make for the future. This can be both overwhelming and nerve wrecking because we simply cannot predict the future. Nonetheless, we can make speculations and anticipations, making it somewhat clear what our wishes might be. This is only one factor that makes the estate planning process challenging and the process that is often delayed or put off until the last minute.

When drafting an estate plan, one choice you need to make is who will be your executor. You might be asking who this person is, what role they play and why it is vital that you carefully choose the right person for this position. One way to ensure that you have made an adequate choice is by fully understanding the responsibilities of an executor.

Helping you draft the best estate plan for you

Thinking about the future and the end of your life is not pleasant. However, we are all human beings, and we all must face the fact that we will not be around forever. Certain life events often trigger us to think about planning for our future and protecting our loved ones. Whether it is a new job, the purchase of a home, the birth of a child, the diagnosis of a disease or retirement, many life events can spark the estate planning process.

No matter if you decide to start the process when you are young and healthy or have opted to wait until you are older, the estate planning process requires you to think about your ultimate goals and what documents will help you best achieve them. At Dorothea J. Kingsbury Attorney at Law, our experienced legal team can help you understand all the steps you can take when drafting an estate plan. We are dedicated to serving individuals and families in the Cleveland area navigate the process, helping them end up with a strong and valid estate plan.

Guardianships for children when the unthinkable happens

One of the most difficult parts of estate planning for parents is trying to decide the best interests of one's minor children in the event of a tragedy. Single parents may feel the burden of this possibility more than others, but all Ohio parents eventually realize that there are no guarantees in life, and there is always the chance that their children could be left without parents. While this heartache is nothing to dwell on, it is definitely something for which to prepare through careful estate planning and designating trusted people to guardianships.

Guardianship may be divided into two main duties: caring for the child and protecting the child's assets. These may be the same person, but if not, the two ideally work closely together to ensure the child's best interests are always considered. Both guardians report to the court before making major decisions on the child's behalf, and usually they make a final report to the court regarding the state of the child's finances and assets when the child reaches the age of majority and the guardianship ends.

Avoiding common estate planning mistakes

For most Ohio residents, taking the time to protect their future is important. A vital part of one's current and future life is their finances. While we cannot predict what life will bring or what our assets will look like at the time of our deaths, it is still important to take precautionary steps to protect your property and assets after your passing. Developing an estate plan, however, is not always an easy task. And for some, it is easy to rush through it or fall for common misconceptions and pitfalls.

Thus, it is crucial that you are aware of the common estate planning mistakes and what steps you could take to avoid them. For example, trusts have been known as the estate planning vehicle of choice in the U.S. While drafting a trust can be an important step to take, this document alone cannot make all you potential worries go away. In some cases, individuals are found using rusts are will substitutes. However, using a trust is not the same as having a will or a comprehensive estate plan. Additionally, a trust alone will not help you avoid other mistakes made in the estate planning process.

What is guardianship?

There is no way around it. We all age. And as we age, our needs might change. For some, it is difficult to meet these needs on our own due to the ailments and conditions that can come with old age. When a loved one is deemed incapacitated and unable to make healthcare and financial decisions on their own, this is when it is important to start considering guardianship.

What is a guardianship? It is a legal tool that allows a named person, usually a family member, to make decisions on your behalf. A court must approve a guardianship, and they are usually issued when there is a circumstance that includes either the incapacitation or disability of a loved one.

DIY estate planning options may not provide most useful tools

Though you may understand the importance of having an estate plan, you may also feel some reluctance to get started on the process of creating one. The idea of deciding what will happen to your estate after your death may seem a bit morbid for your tastes, and you may simply wish you could avoid the situation altogether. However, because dying intestate can have complications of its own, you may choose to go ahead with the planning process.

Because you may want to get through the process as quickly as possible -- as most Ohio residents do with situations that make them uncomfortable -- you may consider taking a DIY approach to your estate plan. However, this route could pose issues of its own.

Helping you set up a guardianship for a loved one

It can be challenging for Ohio residents to think about their elder years or the end of their life. This is especially true if you are still young and relatively healthy and fit. Nonetheless, it is never too soon t think about you future and what may occur if you are no longer able to care for yourself. This can be a very imperative estate planning step, helping loved ones understand your wishes while also giving yourself a peace of mind.

Establishing guardianship is a difficult event for individuals to plan for. It might happen unexpectedly, and a loved one may initiate an action to help protect your vulnerability. Guardianships are designed for vulnerable adults as well as disabled adults and minors. At Dorothea J. Kingsbury, Attorney at Law, our experienced legal team understands the challenges and emotional response that come with guardianships. Thus, we are dedicated to helping individuals in the Cleveland area properly navigate the drafting process.

Remember retirement accounts when drafting an estate plan

It is not rare to plan for your future. This means different things to each person and family; however, when it comes to your financial wellbeing, estate planning tends to come to mind. This is a very effective and often vital tool to include in your life. In general, it is something one should do sooner than later.

An estate plan can be as detailed and as complex as you want to make it. Nonetheless, making a simple plan could have its pitfalls and detriments to a drafter. Thus, it is important to understand the overall role of an estate plan and what goals it can achieve. Furthermore, this means taking a full assessment of your financial accounts, ensuring all are addressed and your wishes at the time of your death are properly articulated and defined in your estate plan.

What are the basics of estate planning?

We can't help but think about the future. While it is not always clear what the future might hold for individuals in Ohio and elsewhere, it is possible to gain assurance and comfort in knowing what might happen after you pass. Although it is unpleasant to think about death, it is a reality everyone faces. Thus, it is important to take steps to protect your financial future. An estate plan can help outline your wishes and ensure they are met.

What are the basics of estate planning? To begin, it is important to understand that an estate plan is more than just drafting a will. Although a will is an important document that serves a vital role, it is not the only important document in an estate plan. Depending on your overall goals, an estate plan can look rather complex. However, an estate plan should be used to serve your wishes and meet realistic future expectations and goals.

Using trusts to leave a home to heirs during your lifetime

As Ohio residents age, they likely begin to think about everything they have accumulated in life and how it might be treated after their death. While thinking about death is never an easy topic to tackle, it is an obstacle that needs to be overcome during the estate planning process. While most individuals draft an estate plan to memorialize their wishes at the end of their life and after their passing, it is also possible to use this process to exercise certain estate decisions during your lifetime.

Although the estate planning process can address a wide variety of property and asset questions and concerns, the most often fraught over question during estate planning is how best an individual should deal with his or her home. Oftentimes, an elderly individual considers their family home too be too much for them to deal with. Thus, selling and downsizing is frequently carried out.

Good Advice. Real Solutions.

I am attorney Dorothea J. Kingsbury. I provide good advice and real solutions to challenging problems. I can help you choose and personalize estate planning instruments that meet your family's present and future needs. I can develop elder law strategies that ensure proper care for your loved ones. I can guide you through the probate/estate administration process when a family member has passed away. I can help make sure your interests are protected during your real estate transaction. I am here to make things easier.

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