People in Ohio who are creating an estate plan might think in terms of making a will and setting up a trust. However, there is another way to conceptualize the process.
It is important for people in Ohio who are getting a divorce to keep their estate plans in mind. It may be necessary to make changes as soon as possible in order to ensure that their wishes are carried out. Otherwise, if a person dies unexpectedly, a spouse or soon-to-be ex-spouse may receive a large share of that person's estate.
News stories about highly paid professional athletes who squander their earnings to the point of going broke and becoming destitute are uncomfortably common. What many people do not know is that this type of financial tragedy often happens to individuals who inherit sudden wealth as part of an estate plan; however, such cases seldom make headlines.
Ohio residents who are planning their estates need to make decisions about how to distribute all of their assets, including individual retirement accounts. These tax-protected savings accounts allow owners to designate beneficiaries. The beneficiary designation on the IRA cannot be overturned by designations in other estate plan documents, like a will. Account holders have multiple options for how to disburse funds after death, and other elements of the estate plan, like a trust, could support the goals of benefactors.
An increasingly complex legal and financial environment has developed in Ohio and elsewhere as a large multi-generational wealth transfer has begun. One market intelligence firm estimates that the next three decades will oversee a wealth transfer of $16 trillion. With more estates holding substantial assets, the potential risks of legal problems are rising. New forms of trusts have emerged, and the people tasked with administering them should fully consider their fiduciary responsibilities and personal liabilities.
Ohio residents who want to establish trusts as a part of their estate plans may wonder how they should choose the trustee. It is important to consider who to choose to serve as a trustee carefully in order to make certain that the trust will be administered in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
Ohio residents have a number of options available to them for asset protection against taxation, business succession and the protection of heirs against their own bad habits or the cunning of others. In some cases, beneficiaries and trustees face a learning curve when it comes to handling trust property and carrying out the instructions.
Ohio residents who benefit from Medicaid might be familiar with special needs trusts (SNTs). These irrevocable trusts make it possible for an individual with disabilities to store their assets. In a first-party special needs trust, the trust can only consist of assets that belong to the beneficiary of the trust. Before the 21st Century Cures Act, which became law on Jan. 1, individuals with disabilities faced hurdles in creating first-party special needs trusts.
Some assets, including 401(k)s and IRAs, are passed down not by wills or trusts but by beneficiary designations. However, since these may be filled out in a flurry of employment paperwork, beneficiary choices might not be made carefully. A person might also forget about the beneficiary choices. This could lead to problems later if an ex-spouse remains on the paperwork or a child is excluded. People in Ohio should take certain criteria into account when making beneficiary designations.
For estate holders in Ohio, irrevocable trusts can produce major tax savings and various other benefits. However, it's important to remember that the terms of these trusts cannot be changed once they have been set.