Wills and Trusts
Estate Planning Attorneys for Northeast Ohio, Akron, Summit and the surrounding area.
It is important to take time during your life to plan for what’s to come. As estate planning attorneys, our job is making sure that your wishes are carried out after your death. Our experienced lawyers can help you plan out what you want to happen with your property and even your remains after you die. In order to make sure that your property is left as you would want, our estate planning attorneys utilize several planning tools. When you’re ready to start planning your estate, call us at 330-922-4491 or contact us online to set up an initial consultation.
Writing a Will / Making a Will
Everyone should make a will. A Last Will and Testament is a legal document with instructions on what to do with your property and debts after you pass away. In order to be legally binding, it is important that a Last Will and Testament be created according to Ohio law.
A will names your beneficiaries, the people who will receive property from you after you die. A will also names an executor, which is the person who will be in charge of gathering the property and distributing it. If you have minor children, a will names the person who will be taking care of the kids as well as managing the money the children might inherit.
Our experienced will lawyers will meet with you to determine what your wishes are for your property. Your will attorney will advise you on the best practices and common solutions to possible estate planning and end of life issues. Then your attorney will draft the document and meet with you again to review and execute that document. Our lawyers are trained in creating wills that satisfy all of Ohio legal requirements.
Your Last Will and Testament will be drafted in such a way that it will be valid for the rest of your life. Your Last Will and Testament will contain a lot of contingencies for that reason. For example, our attorneys don’t just leave everything to your spouse, but also have a clause for what happens if your spouse would pass away first. If you have kids, our lawyers will draft your will to include a guardian for your children, but there will also be a backup guardian, in case something happens to the first person. A well written will should always have a backup plan, and our lawyers know how to make that happen.
When you’re ready to make your will, give our will drafting attorneys a call or contact us online to set up a consultation. You’ll meet with an attorney, make a plan for your will, your attorney will draft it, then meet with you again to review your will and sign it.
Living Revocable Trust
A Living Trust is a legal document that contains a lot of the same information as your will. However, the way the trust works is very different. When you die, your attorney and your executor take you will to probate court and open an estate. That estate is a public record and everything it does is a public record. That includes how much money you had and who got what amount of money. Probate can also be a time consuming and expensive process.
A trust attempts to avoid the probate court process. A trust is a contract between the grantor, the person who creates the trust, and the trustee, the person who holds the property. The trust itself is a contractual set of instructions that the grantor gives to the trustee to follow. While the grantor is alive, they are also the trustee. The trust then has a successor trustee for when the grantor or grantors die. That person doesn’t go to probate court, they simply meet with the trust attorney, review the instructions, and follow them. That means that the entire trust process is private and non-probate.
A trust also has more flexibility in its power to control your assets after you pass away. For example, where your will might leave everything to your kids equally, a trust might do the same except that the trust might only pay them 25% when you die and then pay them additional amounts every five or ten years, or at significant life events, like graduations. During that time, the trustee will continue to hold the money or assets; and can even invest them.
Trusts are a great option for people in certain circumstances. First, if you have a blended family, where you and your spouse have children from other relationships, a trust is a great idea. Our trust attorneys will help you design a trust that can protect your children’s inheritance from your spouse, and your spouse from your children after you are gone. That cannot be done with a will alone.
Second, if you have a child or beneficiary who should not be given a lump sum of money when you die, a trust can be a great option. A trust, unlike a will, give us more options for holding the inheritance money and giving it out over time. A trust can pay the beneficiary an allowance, the trustee could pay the beneficiaries’ reasonable bills and expenses, or the beneficiary could receive parts of the inheritance at a time. These tools simply aren’t available to your attorney with a will alone.
Third, if you’re concerned about your spouse remarrying and leaving your assets to a new partner when your gone and cutting out your children, a trust can be set up to protect from that.
While trusts are more expensive, depending on your situation, the additional costs may be offset by the costs of probate which will be avoided.
If you think a trust might be right for you, its time to talk to your attorney. Hoover Kacyon’s trust attorneys are ready to meet with you. Set up your consultation. At that meeting your attorney will discuss the various estate planning options, and trust variations to figure out the right plan for your trust. Then your estate planning attorney will draft your trust, will, and any deeds and powers of attorney, and meet with you again to review and execute those documents. You’ll have one trust attorney through the entire process. You’ll also have a chance to discuss any other questions or concerns with your estate planning attorney. Generally, your attorney will want to go over lots of issues concerning end of life and estate planning like powers of attorney, living wills, and best practices for banks and retirement accounts.