Do You Have An Estate Plan?
No matter your age, your career or the number of assets you own, if you do not have an estate plan, your family may be laden with emotional and financial burdens if you become incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself. Your family could choose medical intervention, procedures, or treatment for you that does not align with your values.
Anyone over 18 years old can establish an estate plan that includes advance directives such as a living will and durable power of attorney, among other documents, depending on your needs. In a living will, you may choose a trusted agent to speak on your behalf to ensure your choices for medical treatment and end-of-life care are followed. You may also assign someone to handle your business affairs using a durable power of attorney if you cannot do so due to disability.
An Estate Plan Can Assure Your Choices Are Heard And Respected
At minimum, an estate plan includes advance directives, such as living wills, that address medical treatment while you are living and durable powers of attorney. You may update your advance directives on your own at any time you are alive and capable of communication. Likewise for your last will, or “will.”
A will is another essential component of estate planning. A will communicates your wishes for whom you wish to handle your final affairs and how you want to distribute your assets when you die. If you have children, your will can address your choice of guardian for your minor children when you are no longer here. Once you establish your will, you are free to make updates as you see fit throughout your lifetime. Some estate plans will also include a trust, which serves a different function than a will.
A trust is a legal instrument created to transfer ownership of your assets to a trustee. Many people assign themselves as trustees of their trust while they are alive. There are many different purposes and forms of trusts.
Estate planning documents can be contested in court by interested parties, so it is critical to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to avoid disputes that could take a financial and emotional toll on your family.
Speak With A Certified Estate Planning Attorney
Mike puts the fun in fundamental estate planning to protect your legacy and safeguard your family’s financial stability when you are no longer here. Mike is a certified estate planning, trust and probate attorney by the Ohio State Bar Association. He will help you create an estate plan tailored for your specific needs. Call his office in Dayton at 937-741-3988 or send the Law Office of W. Michael Conway an email to initiate a complimentary consultation. If you have recently lost a loved one, call Michael for assistance with probate.