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Estate Planning Lawyer in Cleveland

Proper planning of an estate can have many benefits, including mitigating estate taxes, ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your death, privacy gained by bypassing the estate process in open court, and peace of mind for both you and your heirs in knowing that your affairs are in order and will not cause undue stress after your passing. 

Proper estate plans include: 

  • Appointing a health care agent: A durable power of attorney will permit your chosen surrogate to make healthcare decisions for you when you are unable to do so. 
  • Appointing a financial agent: This person, through a financial durable power of attorney, Will be empowered to take care of your finances should you be incapacitated or otherwise unable to do so. 
  • A full accounting of your personal property: Tangible Personal Property,  Stocks and Bonds, Commodities and Options, Accounts at Banks and Other Financial Institutions, Entity or business interests, Insurance and Annuities, Estates, Trusts, and Other Beneficial Interests, Claims and Litigation, Personal and Family Assets, Benefits from Governmental Programs or Civil or Military Service, Retirement Plans, Taxes and Digital Assets. 
  • Naming beneficiaries: This includes identifying heirs in your Will as well as naming beneficiaries for accounts that are Payable on Death, Transferable on Death or will otherwise bypass the probate process. 
  • Creating or Updating Last Will and Testament: This may specify who you wish to name as executor of your estate, as well as what you wish to leave to each of your heirs. It may also include information about any restrictions or exclusions, although these are legally complex and should also be handled in consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney in Cleveland. 
  • Securing your documents: Such planning does no good if your documents are lost, destroyed, outdated or cannot be found. Make a plan for securing your documents and notifying your heirs or where they are located. This may include your estate planning attorney. 

Using Trusts in Ohio Estate Planning

Trusts are among the most commonly overlooked tools in estate planning. Often, people think trusts are unnecessarily complicated, or are only used by the wealthy. Neither of these misconceptions is true. The reality is that a trust can vastly simplify your estate distribution, and even allow you and your heirs to bypass the probate court process. 

The most common is a revocable living trust. This trust creates an entity to which the principal can transfer ownership of assets. The principal is allowed to manage the trust and benefit from the assets until his or her death. Like a Last Will and Testament, a trust will specify the beneficiaries and describe the assets that each will inherit. However, a trust will not go through the probate process. This permits the estate to be distributed to the beneficiaries immediately and without the supervision of the court.

There are many other types of trusts you can discuss with your estate lawyer, including irrevocable trusts and special needs trusts, which can provide for a child or adult with special needs without disqualifying them from vital support services, such as government income and health insurance. 

The Law Offices of Daniel McGowan, LLC, represents clients in probate and estate matters throughout the Cleveland area, including Lakewood, Rocky River, Fairview Park, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, South Euclid, East Cleveland, Linndale, Brooklyn, Parma, Brook Park. Newburgh Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Brooklyn Heights, Warrensville Heights, Maple Heights, Garfield Heights, Bratenahl and Euclid.

Call 216-242-6054 today for a free and confidential consultation.

Law Offices of Daniel McGowan, LLC is a full-service law practice, with extensive experience in the areas of litigation and trial practice, elder law, and probate law and trust law. The information on this website, however, is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Each legal situation is unique and you should consult with a reputable attorney regarding your specific circumstances.
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