Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., LPA
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Estate Planning Archives

Is a handwritten will valid?

People in Ohio who want to protect their assets and decrease the stress of their loved ones after they are gone may choose to have a will. In the state, a valid will may be typed or handwritten by the testator. While many people choose to type the document, some decide a handwritten one is preferred, which comes with certain benefits as well as some downfalls.

Should you have a health care power of attorney?

While most people do not want to plan for the worst, it is a good idea for all adults in Ohio to have someone they trust who can make medical decisions on their behalf should something catastrophic happen. This person is outlined in a legal document called a health care power of attorney or health proxy.  

Estate planning and the end of marriage

Handling estate issues can be challenging for people in various situations, but it can be especially tough for some, such as those who have significant assets or people who have recently split up with their spouse. If you have gone through a divorce, or are thinking about bringing an end to your marriage, it is vital to go over how this change could impact your estate and figure out which steps need to be taken to protect your property. Our law office knows that this can be an emotionally charged time, but you should not let stress and other emotions get in the way of securing your estate.

Communication and your estate plan

If you are in the process of setting up an estate plan, many different concerns may be on the table. For example, you may be having a hard time deciding whether a trust or will is more appropriate, or you could be having difficulty naming an executor or figuring out how to divide your assets among beneficiaries. Often, you can develop a better understanding of the right decisions by talking with loved ones and those affected by your estate plan. Our law firm knows that effective communication is an important part of successful estate planning.

The importance of estate planning

When a resident of Ohio dies, matters of estate planning often need to be dealt with long before the grieving process is underway. As stated by the Summit County Probate Court, bills and taxes will be taken from the estate upon death, and then the rest is dispersed and executed based upon the will. Unfortunately, many people put off their estate planning or updates, leaving loved ones to try to figure out what the person would have wanted posthumously, which can lead to confusion, legal headaches and bitterness between the parties involved.

Creating an estate plan the right way

For many Ohio residents, the thought of creating an estate plan for the time following their death may not be their first priority. However, neglecting the important task of putting financials in order and articulating last wishes can leave family members scrambling and confused after a loved one has died.

Why millennials need to think about estate planning

Too many people make the mistake of thinking that estate planning is only something you need to do when you are getting close to retirement. In fact, according to a recent survey by Caring.com, a whopping 78 percent of people under the age of 36 do not have a will or trust in place.

E-Wills? i Wills? Or the old fashioned way? From Robert Hyland

We do almost all our financial transactions electronically today. We do our banking electronically, we buy our gifts electronically, we make our travel arrangements electronically. We talk with our children or grandchildren 600 miles away electronically. So, why can't we do our wills or our trust documents electronically? Ohio does not allow us to make electronic wills. Whether a trust document can be signed electronically is a good question, with arguments both ways. Our wills, though, must still be done on pieces of paper that we sign. Why is that? Probably because Ohio legislators still want us to be able to prove that a document is ours by our signature at the end of it. There is another reason to require that, but not a legal reason. Our wills are one of the last documents by which we tell those around us what we want to have happen after our deaths. Having us personally sign that makes that document even more personal. You may also consider leaving a separate document in which you tell your children, grandchildren, or other important people how you feel about them and what you hope for them. You may prepare that electronically, and then print out as many of those as you want, signing each one of them. When your will gets left at the Probate Court, those letters to your family stay with your family. Let us know if we can help with either your will or your Letter of Love.

Assets with beneficiary designations by Andrea Costa Laden

Effective estate planning requires revision and adjustment as a person's life, job, and investment portfolio change over time. Periodic monitoring is particularly important for assets with beneficiary designations. These assets, such as life insurance policies, bank accounts, IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and annuity contracts, can be designed to automatically pass to a beneficiary you specify upon your death pursuant to a "Transfer on Death" or "Payable on Death" designation.

Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., LPA

105 East 4th Street
Suite 300
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Phone: 513-579-1500
Fax: 513-977-4361
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