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It is never too early to begin planning for your future. An estate plan can help you do exactly that. An estate plan is created using one or a combination of several techniques like a last will and testament, a general durable power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, a living will (or advance directive), and/or a trust. The goal is to have procedures in place in the event of an emergency and provide for the disposition of assets in a way that maximizes the value of the estate to family members, while minimizing the tax liability. At Scullin & Cunning, we have the experience necessary to advise you as to the best plan for your personal needs.
The probate process deals with the transfer of a person’s property when they pass away. This process can take anywhere from a few months to several years. If the person does not have a last will and testament, his or her property will be distributed according to Ohio law. This means that the State of Ohio determines who gets the property. If the person had a last will and testament, his or her property would go to the people designated as beneficiaries therein. At Scullin & Cunning, we have the experience necessary to advise you as to the best plan for your personal needs.
A trust is a document which allows you to separate “legal title” from “beneficial title.” The effect is that your property is not technically titled in your name at your death; and therefore, it is not subject to the probate process. This is just one of the benefits of a trust. Other benefits include Creditor Protection for the trust beneficiaries, potential Estate Tax savings, greater flexibility when it comes to the timing and distribution of assets, and provisions for minor children in the event both parents die. Trusts can also be used to qualify for, or maintain eligibility for, government assistance, such as Medicaid and Social Security Disability, which are means tested programs.