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An Ohio resident who is creating an estate plan may want to work with a team of professionals. This could include an attorney, financial planner, and accountant. Unfortunately, many people think an estate plan and a will are the same thing. However, there are many other components to an estate plan.

An estate owner may want to work with an attorney to create that plan. In addition to a will, there may be health care directives, trusts, powers of attorney and more. Estate plans are about more than just what happens to a person’s possessions after they pass away.

Using a professional can help make things less difficult for heirs after the estate owner dies. A professional may increase the likelihood that the documents are prepared correctly, and this means they could be less vulnerable to challenges by family members.

One may want to get referrals from other professionals as well as family members when assembling an estate planning team. It’s also important to interview professionals before choosing one.

Wills and trusts are the main documents that designate what happens to property when a person dies. Some assets may be passed on using other tools such as beneficiary designations, so these should be consistent with the rest of the estate plan. For example, if an estate owner leaves a retirement account to one person with the beneficiary designation and writes in the will that it should go to someone else, the beneficiary designation overrides the will. A person may also want to discuss the role of trusts in the estate plan with the attorney. Trusts have many different functions that can be important for wealthy as well as lower-income families.