Estate Planning

Helping plan your estate in Columbus, Ohio

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Estate Planning has Two Components

Estate Planning is the process of providing for the care of your loved ones and disposition of property following your death or disability. But Estate Planning is also necessary to ensure that your wishes regarding health care and property use are honored during your life.

Testamentary Planning

Most people immediately associate “estate plan” with “Last Will and Testament” but this is only one component. A Will allows you to leave enforceable instructions for who will receive your assets at your death. By incorporating testamentary trusts into your Will, you can also control the timing and circumstances under which distributions will be made. If the aim is to avoid probate, a living trust can be used to accomplish the same goals as a Will.

Lifetime Planning

The lifetime planning component of an “estate plan” is for managing your affairs while you are still alive, but unable to make decisions for yourself. As our population ages, age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s are becoming a reality for a higher percentage of elderly people. Even for younger people, an unexpected accident could leave them temporarily or even permanently unable to make financial or healthcare decisions. Incapacity planning can help avoid a costly conservatorship or guardianship proceeding in these circumstances. Lifetime planning also provides asset protection.

How Does an Estate Plan Work?

The term “estate plan” refers to a variety of tools that are used to manage your property and provide for your loved ones, including: Advance Directives, Trusts and Wills and electronic or social media provisions. These tools work in combination with each other to keep you in charge and achieve your overall goals.

Which Estate Plan Options are Right for Me?

There is no one-size-fits-all estate plan. The estate plan that is right for someone else may be totally wrong for you. And given the recent fluctuations in exclusion amounts and transfer tax rates, the plan that worked for some people yesterday might be disastrous today. Understanding your options is a complex undertaking, and there is no substitute for an attorney who will help you identify your estate planning goals and decide between potential options. Contact the Cohen Law Offices and ask about our value pricing and fixed fee options!