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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.

There are several parts of a good estate plan. People should have such things as advanced directives that contain living wills so that they can define the type of care that they want to receive if they become incapacitated and are unable to speak for themselves. They should also have medical powers of attorney that give a trusted person decision-making authority over their medical care. If people do not have these documents in place, the choices will be made for them by others.

People might also want to have financial powers of attorney in place that grant the authority to make important financial decisions to trusted individuals in the event of incapacity. This may let others pay their bills and manage their financial affairs when they are unable to make the decisions for themselves. Finally, having wills, trusts or both in place may help people to make certain that their assets pass to their intended beneficiaries rather than according to the state's intestacy laws.

After people have drafted their estate plans, they should review them after major life changes. If changes need to be made, they can update their wills to reflect them. it is advisable to have an experienced attorney periodically review them in order to take into account changes in applicable laws.

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