We all want financial security-for ourselves and our loved ones. If something were to happen, we want to be sure that our spouse, children, or other dependents are provided for. In Ohio (OH), take steps to gain that security by creating a comprehensive estate plan with an experienced estate planning attorney. By doing so, you and your family will know that there is a workable plan in place for the security of your family.
Estate planning is not limited to the management of your personal affairs after your death. It is also particularly important if you have substantial financial assets or operate a business. Coordinating succession planning for your business with your estate plan can help assure that your personal assets are distributed as you intend and that your business has the assets and direction it needs for its continuing operation or sale.
By carefully choosing an OH estate planning attorney, you can be proactive in creating the best possible framework for the care and security of your loved ones and business interests after your passing.
What to Consider When Choosing an OH Estate Planning Attorney
Knowing how to choose an estate planning attorney is the first step to creating a secure future for those who rely on you. If you live in the Buckeye State, the natural inclination is to choose an estate planning attorney licensed in Ohio. To narrow down the field further, be sure you understand exactly what an estate planning attorney does, identify potential estate planning attorneys you are considering, and then gather information about each candidate to determine which attorney best serves your needs.
What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?
An experienced estate planning attorney helps you develop and implement plans to protect and, when necessary, distribute assets in the event of your incapacity or death. Estate planning includes events that occur during your lifetime as well as after your death.
To accomplish this, an estate planning attorney should talk to you about your specific estate planning goals and know the strategies available in your state to meet those goals. These attorneys also understand the tax ramifications of the estate planning options available and how to best protect your hard-earned assets and business interests.
An attorney with an OH estate planning practice should know and understand the estate planning options and procedures for probate in Ohio. He or she can then help you determine the strategies that will best meet your estate planning goals. For some that will mean merely drafting a will to direct the distribution of your assets. Others may benefit from the creation of a revocable trust, an irrevocable trust, or some other tool for asset transfer and protection.
In addition to planning for asset transfers after your death, an Ohio estate planning attorney can also advise you on estate planning tools that can take effect during your lifetime. This aspect of estate planning may include drafting a durable power of attorney for finances in the event you become incapacitated. A financial power of attorney appoints someone you trust as an agent (or attorney in fact) to handle your finances if you become unable to make or communicate financial decisions. A financial durable power of attorney may be as specific or general as your specific needs require, covering all financial affairs, limited types of transactions, or only a single transaction.
Advance medical directives are another estate planning tool that could take effect during your lifetime. When prepared correctly, these documents communicate your wishes on medical care matters in the event you are unable to communicate those wishes.
Questions to Ask When Choosing an OH Estate Planning Attorney
Choosing the right estate planning attorney for you requires consideration of objective and personal criteria. The attorney should be licensed in your jurisdiction, have estate planning experience, and have relationships with attorneys in other areas of law necessary to create your comprehensive estate plan. For the more personal consideration, you should be comfortable working with the attorney you choose.
First, consider the location and experience of the lawyers you are researching. You want to find a lawyer with an OH estate planning practice that includes probate, tax, and other relevant law. Next, consider whether your estate and any business interests have particular needs that require experience in other specific areas of law. For individuals with business interests, working with an estate planning attorney at a business law firm offers the ultimate combination-attorneys skilled in business and commercial law who can coordinate and work closely with your estate planning attorney.
Before selecting your attorney, consider the following:
- Ask the attorney candidates you've identified for an interview
- Make sure you understand your attorney's fee structure
- Ask each candidate whether he or she has professional relationships with attorneys in other areas of law that are relevant to your personal or business interests and estate plan
- Inquire how each attorney candidate communicates with clients and about availability for questions
Where Can I Find a Qualified OH Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning is a complicated issue, and it is natural to have questions about it. When you're choosing an OH estate planning attorney, remember Anna M. Price at Jenkins Fenstermaker. Anna can help you answer your questions about estate planning in Ohio and works closely with attorneys in business and other areas to meet all of your estate planning needs. Request a free consultation by completing Anna's online contact form or by calling (304) 523-2100 in West Virginia or (866) 617-4736 toll-free.