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Essential tips for proper estate planning

Ohio residents may have heard that music icon Prince died in 2016 with no will. As a result, Prince's sister and five half-siblings are still fighting over how his estate should be divided. Valued at about $300 million when he died, the estate will likely be cut in half because of taxes and lawyer fees. Regardless of how it is divided, it probably won't be in a manner that Prince would have wanted.

Emergency clauses could protect estates

When the unexpected happens, Ohio residents who think that their estate planning is airtight can lose everything in an instant. Situations that can cause this misfortune include sudden death or theft. Loved ones can also die within close succession of one another. Examples of these incidents have been revealed in news reports regarding celebrity deaths like Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Keeping track of passwords for estate planning purposes

Most Ohio residents will be familiar with how frustrating it is to forget a user name or password. While being unable to log into an important website is usually a fairly straightforward problem to remedy, it can cause havoc for estate planning attorneys and heirs when the author of the password in question has passed away. Most online security experts recommend that individuals use several complex passwords including letter, number and symbols that are hard to remember but easy to forget, and websites that contain highly sensitive information sometimes require their users to regularly select a new password.

Dealing with estate planning when one spouse is reluctant

One issue that may arise for Ohio couples regarding estate planning is that one spouse may be anxious to do so while the other spouse might be resistant. That resistant spouse may not realize that dying intestate could mean stepchildren, step-grandchildren or others whom the spouse would want to receive assets might get nothing.

Estate planning within blended families in Ohio

Creating an estate plan is important for all adults. When it comes to blended families where there may be children from previous relationships and children from the new relationship, an estate plan becomes critical to avoid accidentally disinheriting family members. A trust is one way to ensure that both a current spouse and children from prior relationships are taken care of. A person can set up their trust so that after their death, their spouse receives distributions throughout their lifetime. Afterward, the children receive assets. With this type of trust, a person might want to hire a professional trustee since the spouse or the children might manage it for their own benefit but not that of the other beneficiaries.

Complex issues in estate planning

Sometimes, estate planning can involve complex issues, such as dividing land among family members. Ohio residents who are in this position sometimes make mistakes during the process.

Records suggest total value of Prince's estate

Ohio fans of the musician Prince may be interested in the news that his estate has been valued at $200 million although that is still not a final figure. There are further appraisals ahead. Prince did not leave a will, and as a result, his estate will be divided between five half-siblings and his sister. However, reports say that about half of the estate will go to taxes.

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.

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.

Estate plans are not just for the wealthy

There are many reasons that Ohio residents might need an estate plan that are not related to how wealthy they may be. For example, they might want to think about end-of-life care and who they would appoint to handle their health care and finances. This can be two different people, and more than one person can handle each responsibility. For example, when creating a power of attorney, people might choose two of their children or a child and an attorney to manage their finances if they are incapacitated. Long term care insurance can help prevent a scenario in which people lose all their assets if they go to a nursing home.

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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
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