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August 2017 Archives

The advantages of trusts over 529 plans

Many families in Ohio can benefit from a 529 education savings plan. It allows for tax-free growth of assets inside the account, and contributions are generally deductible at the state level. Another benefit is that it features clear investment plans that parents can understand. In some cases, parents can even change who the beneficiary of the plan is. However, there may be a better strategy for funding a child's education that could also have estate planning benefits.

Reasons to have a funeral trust

Ohio residents who have not discussed funeral plans or payment with family members or who do not have life insurance policies set up to cover funeral expenses might want to consider creating a funeral trust. This may be unnecessary for a person who has enough money to cover long-term care expenses and who does not want money to be inaccessible. However, a funeral trust can be helpful for family members because it can relieve them from having to make decisions in a time of stress and grief.

Why estate plans are important for everyone

Estate planning is not something that just exists for wealthy people. Ohio residents should have estate plans in place because they help to protect their loved ones while allowing them to have control over how their assets and other affairs will be handled.

Qualified personal residence trusts and estate planning

While federal estate and gift tax exemptions are fairly generous, Ohio residents may still wish to approach them cautiously when developing their estate plans. Residential real estate values fell sharply following the 2008 financial crisis, but property prices have since rebounded. Most homes in Ohio and around the country are worth far less than the current estate tax exemption, but this situation may not persist in fast-growing markets or during speculative bubbles. Congress may also choose to lower these exemptions.

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.

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