As Americans, we spend much of our adult lives amassing an estate. We work hard to earn money so we can acquire things like a car, a house, a savings account, a retirement fund, and other possessions. But what happens to these possessions when we pass away? How do we transfer our accumulated wealth to future generations? And how do we ensure that our wishes for the end of our life are followed?
With help from RKPT’s estate planning attorneys, you can choose who will inherit your assets, what they will receive, and when they will receive them. A thoughtfully prepared estate plan ensures that your last wishes will be carried out.
What About Online Estate Planning Tools?
These days, we can do almost anything online. Whether we’re ordering take-out or buying a car, modern conveniences allow us to skip in-person meetings and take matters into our own hands. But when it comes to estate planning, it’s worth spending the extra time to ensure that your estate planning documents will work when you need them to carry out your final wishes.
In estate planning, there aren’t any do-overs. By the time your estate planning documents are tested, it’s often too late to make any changes. Because these documents are so important, it is wise to hire an estate planning attorney to ensure they are prepared properly so your wishes will be carried out.
Why Hire an Estate Planning Attorney
Help You Avoid Mistakes
Estate planning is complicated. Strict probate rules must be followed, and a mistake can invalidate your estate planning documents.
By doing your own estate planning, you risk creating documents that don’t say what you intend for them to say and consequently won’t do what you intend them to do. And even worse, these errors often aren’t discovered until after your death or incapacitation, when it’s too late.
Create Customized Estate Planning Documents to Fit Your Needs
When you use a website to generate your estate planning documents, what you’re really getting is a fill-in-the-blank form. While this approach can accommodate some very basic estate planning needs, DIY estate plans cannot account for the nuances of your unique situation. DIY estate plans often fail because they are not properly finalized and do not comply with Ohio law. To be valid in Ohio, a Will must be signed by two witnesses who watched you sign the documents. Similarly, a Durable Power of Attorney must be notarized in order to be valid.
Ensure Your Estate Plan Stays Up-to-Date
Many people erroneously assume that estate planning is a one-time deal. They let decades pass without updating their estate plan, resulting in outdated estate planning documents that no longer reflect the current state of your life.
It is important to periodically review your estate plan and check to ensure that it remains current and accurately reflects your wishes.
When your life circumstances change, you should adjust your estate plan to reflect the current state of your life. Doing so can minimize probate costs and reduce the stress on family members at the time of your passing.
Provide Informed Legal Advice
If your estate planning situation includes anything remotely out of the ordinary, you will benefit from working with a professional. The estate planning lawyers at RKPT will thoroughly review your assets to identify items that require additional attention and ensure beneficiary information is up to date. We will carefully analyze your situation and provide custom advice to create an estate plan that accounts for your needs and wishes while minimizing estate tax liability.
Serve as a Resource for Loved Ones
When contemplating your estate plan, consider its effect on your loved ones. Your estate planning documents will come into play during a time of stress. Your spouse and/or children will need help navigating this difficult time. Having an experienced estate planning lawyer by their side will make this time of grief easier for them, as they will have someone who can answer their questions and make it easier to carry out your wishes. And you will have peace of mind knowing they will be in good hands.
Reduce Tax Liability and Probate Costs
The RKPT estate planning attorneys will carefully review your situation and prepare a strategic estate plan to reduce probate costs and minimize estate taxes. Tax planning strategies may include creating a trust, setting up tax-free gifts to family members, or using beneficiary designations to avoid probate.
Provide Cost Savings for Your Beneficiaries
Some people try to justify not hiring an estate planning attorney because they think it is too expensive. But a DIY estate plan, or not preparing one at all, can cost your family more money in the long run. A DIY estate plan carries risks, like having the court reject your documents or incurring additional expenses in estate taxes, additional probate costs, or attorneys fees that could have been avoided by working with an experienced professional in the first place.
Contact RKPT for Estate Planning Services in Ohio
Regardless of your specific situation, you can benefit from hiring an experienced estate planning attorney. Whether you are a young family just starting out or a retiree who needs help transferring wealth to the next generation, working with an estate planning attorney is almost always beneficial.
The lawyers at RKPT have decades of experience advising clients on their estate planning needs. We will learn about you and your unique situation and create a customized estate plan to help you meet your financial goals and leave a legacy to the people you care about while minimizing your tax liability and probate costs.
We understand that estate planning is a dynamic, lifelong process. We partner with our clients as they experience marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, new or growing business endeavors, or receiving a substantial gift or inheritance.