Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.

November 2016 Archives

Why a will may be important at any age

A 2011 poll found that around 60 percent of Americans do not have a will. Many Ohio residents may think that they do not need a will because they are too young; however, death or incapacity may occur unexpectedly at any age. If a will is not in place, then the state will decide what becomes of a person's assets and who gets what. Even with a will, an estate must pass through probate before assets can be distributed. If there is not a will, the process could take longer and be more expensive.

Avoiding probate problems with an estate

Although it may be easy to put off estate planning, failing to address one's end-of-life wishes for the management of assets could leave those assets in control of the Ohio probate system. The state uses probate as an avenue for legally assessing the value of an estate and for determining how the relevant assets will be distributed to those entitled to inherit them in the absence of a will. While this might seem reasonable, the challenge is that those handling these matters may need to pay fees from the estate. Further, the recipients of assets according to intestacy law may be different from those that the decedent intended. Even with a valid will, the probate process can drag out.

The benefits of an incentive trust

Ohio parents who are worried that their heirs may not be great at managing money or other assets may want to consider an incentive trust. When they die, assets go into the trust as opposed to going directly to an heir. A trustee oversees the trust and distributes assets when heirs meet conditions spelled out in the document.

The importance of beneficiary designations in estate planning

Ohio residents who need to make an estate plan should be mindful of whether they have accounts with beneficiary designations. This may include insurance policies, savings accounts and retirement accounts. Sometimes, people fill out beneficiary paperwork once and forget about it. Since beneficiary designations override wills, however, the result can be assets going to the wrong people.

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Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
Executive Commons West
29425 Chagrin Blvd.
Suite 305
Cleveland, OH 44122

Toll Free: 888-335-6650
Phone: 216-245-0504
Fax: 216-765-8817
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