Wills Archives

Hugh Hefner's estate plan is a good model for others

While Ohioans may differ in their opinions of Hugh Hefner and the way in which he lived his life, they might all benefit by learning about how he planned his estate. Hugh Hefner planned his estate so effectively that he was able to live out his life without worry and still leave his estate to his beneficiaries with little worry that they would fight.

Planned giving

An estate plan is an important tool for Ohio individuals to distribute their assets after death. One common goal is to divide property according to a person's wishes. Many people have a strong commitment to community nonprofits. Through their estate plan, the planned giving option allows them to benefit their favorite charities.

Estate planning for entrepreneurs

Ohio entrepreneurs may want to take steps to protect their business and loved ones in case of their own death. A survey of 500 entrepreneurs found that only 20 percent had a financial power of attorney and over two-thirds did not have a will. Only 13 percent had created a living trust, and nearly two-thirds of entrepreneurs said they had done no estate planning work at all.

Letter of final wishes in estate planning

Ohio residents who are considering estate planning may not be aware of an important document that they can draft for their loved ones. A letter of final wishes (LFW) is a personal document that has no legal standing but can provide explanations for heirs that could help them to better understand and carry out the deceased's wishes.

Possible estate tax reforms on the horizon

Rumors of estate tax reform could create new questions for people in Ohio who have already set up an estate plan. Their plans would have been based on current tax laws, and many people create trust structures to control tax exposure to heirs. The potential repeal of estate taxes and generation-skipping taxes presents an opportunity to consider how to update an estate plan should the laws change. Such a proactive analysis could enable someone to quickly rework a plan in the event of tax reforms and limit the amount of time that an obsolete plan is in effect.

Making the location of a will known

Ohio residents should be sure to inform their loved ones about the location of important estate-planning documents. According to a December 2016 survey from BMO Wealth Management, one-third of people have told their beneficiaries where to find their powers of attorney or will. An additional 10 percent have provided copies of the original documents to their heirs.

How to answer key estate plan questions

One issue that Ohio residents may face when creating an estate plan is who to turn to in case of an emergency. This question may prevent individuals from creating wills and trusts or granting potentially necessary powers of attorney. Making things more difficult is the fact that there are no set rules when it comes to choosing an agent under a power of attorney or a guardian for a minor child.

Points to remember in an estate plan

There are several aspects of an estate plan that Ohio residents may overlook. For example, in addition to a primary beneficiary, testators should name alternate beneficiaries. This is not just in case of the death of the primary beneficiary but also in the event that the beneficiary is a minor or is unable to manage their assets.

Important things to keep in mind regarding estate planning

While it may seem to be a rather unpleasant task, having an effective estate plan can relieve surviving family members from huge troubles, including the estate having to go through months or years of probate. By taking a few steps, Ohio residents may be able to avoid this scenario from happening to their families after they die.

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