Everyone Can Benefit From An Estate Plan
Many people think an estate plan simply lets you determine who gets your assets after you pass away. That is part of it, but estate planning is so much more.
A thorough and well-crafted estate plan can help reduce your taxes, safeguard your financial interests in the event you are no longer able to manage your affairs, and allows you to make sure your personal beliefs and wishes regarding end-of-life health care are known and followed. Estate planning tools can also streamline the probate process, reducing time and cost, and ensure family legacy properties are transferred to the next generation.
At Honerlaw Law Office, LLC, we believe everyone — no matter your age or wealth — can benefit from an estate plan. For more than 30 years, we have been helping individuals and families plan for the future and obtain peace of mind through estate planning.
Attorney Michael J. Honerlaw will sit down with you, discuss your assets, your family dynamics and your goals, then develop an estate plan that meets your individual needs. While a variety of estate planning vehicles may be used, the following are among the most common:
- Last will and testament
- Financial power of attorney
- Health care power of attorney
- Living will
- Revocable and irrevocable trusts
Helping You Navigate Probate Administration
Unless an individual has an extensive estate plan, his or her estate will go through probate upon death. It is common for a family member to be named estate administrator or executor to guide the process along.
As administrator/executor you will be tasked with many duties, including:
- Inventorying and valuing all of the deceased’s property
- Identifying and notifying creditors and collecting debts against the estate
- Receiving any payments, dividends and income due to the deceased
- Identifying and notifying estate beneficiaries
- Investigating claims made against the estate
- Filing all necessary tax returns and paying local, state and federal taxes
- Funding trusts, if applicable
- Paying creditors
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries
This can also require preparing and filing legal documents and attending court hearings in probate court.
In Ohio, probate can be quite complex. It is in your best interests as an estate administrator or executor to work with a lawyer during the process. Our firm has extensive experience handling probate administration. We can offer as much or as little support as you need — acting as a sounding board and overseer of the process, or handling everything for you from start to finish.