Securing your legacy for your loved ones
One of the great rewards of an industrious and fruitful life is the ability to leave a legacy to your loved ones. Your legacy is both an expression of your love and your final opportunity to provide financial assistance to the people, and even the causes, you care deeply about. At Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A., our estate planning attorneys personally guide you through the process of identifying your goals for your legacy and selecting the appropriate methods for implementing your intentions. The tools we employ for legacy planning include:
Recording a valid will in Ohio
A last will and testament is the standard legal instrument used for most bequests. Having a valid will in place allows your estate to move swiftly through probate so your beneficiaries receive their inheritance without costly delays. That’s why, even if you have a modest estate, it’s important for you to at least have a will: You don’t want your heirs to lose their inheritances to court fees and other expenses resulting from an unnecessarily long process.
Our attorneys have the skill and experience to draft wills and guide testators through the execution so the will can survive challenges. We also review existing wills and help testators update and amend those documents to reflect their current circumstances. If it’s been more than three years since you last reviewed your will, it’s time to speak with an attorney you can trust. If you have no will, our estate planning attorneys can walk you through the process, step by step, so you can be confident that the document reflects your intentions and that those intentions can be faithfully carried out.
Powers of attorney and living wills for assistance in old age
An inescapable fact of nature is that our capacity to care for ourselves wanes with old age. Fortunately, you can put legal protections in place to ensure that someone you trust will assume responsibility and that your wishes will be honored if you lose the ability to care for yourself. For these purposes, we help clients establish these documents:
- Power of attorney — This instrument allows you to appoint a trusted representative to handle select responsibilities, such as managing your finances and making decisions related to your health and welfare.
- Living will — This document tells healthcare providers the level of lifesaving intervention you wish to be performed in an emergency situation.
Using trusts for retirement and succession in Ohio
A trust is a legal entity similar to a corporation that you establish to hold certain assets, such as real estate or financial instruments. You can enjoy these assets during your lifetime, and then the trust either passes them to your heirs or continues to hold them for your designated beneficiaries. Common trust instruments include:
- Living trust — Allows you to use assets until your death, at which time they pass to your heirs
- Bypass trust — Facilitates the transfer of an estate to heirs while avoiding federal estate tax
- Charitable trust — Holds assets to benefit the causes or institutions you support
- Dynasty trust — Allows you to transfer tax-free money to your grandchildren
- Qualified personal residence trust — Allows you to avoid federal estate tax on your home
- Irrevocable life insurance trust — Allows your beneficiaries to receive tax-free income
- Qualified terminal interest property trust — If you are married for the second time, you can provide benefits for a spouse but ultimately pass your assets to the children of your first marriage
Contact our estate planning lawyers in Zanesville, OH for answers about wills and trusts
The estate planning attorneys at Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A. work closely with you to identify your intentions for succession and personalize a plan to accomplish your goals. For attentive and meticulous service, speak with an attorney who knows wills and trusts. Call us at (740) 452-8484 or contact our Zanesville office online.