Michele A. Smith Law
Estate Planning and Probate While you are
living and healthy you value being able to make your own decisions about your
finances, property, health care, and raising your children. Should you become
incapacitated or die you hope others will handle these matters for you according
to your wishes.
The only way to
assure that will happen is through estate planning. This process involves
weighing various personal and financial decisions and creating legal
arrangements to carry out those decisions.
planning is essential for all individuals to limit estate taxes and to ensure
that your wishes are carried out after your death. A key component to estate
planning is having a Will, which is sometimes called a “Last Will and
Testament”. The Last Will and Testament is used to transfer property you hold
in your name to the person(s) and/or organization(s) you want to have it and
specifies the Executor(s) and the nominated Guardians should you pass away
leaving minor children. A Will only becomes effective upon your death and
after it is admitted to probate.
Other tools that are helpful in
estate planning to reduce estate-tax liability include trusts, insurance
policies, joint and survivor deeds, transfer on death deeds, and joint ownership
office can also prepare Power of Attorney documents to assist you in the
handling of your affairs in the event you are unable or unwilling to handle the
matters on your own. The Power of Attorney documents include a Financial Power
of Attorney, Real Estate Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Durable Power of
Attorney for Health Care.
contact our office at 419-502-2002 to schedule an estate planning appointment to
ensure that your wishes are carried out, and your family is properly protected,
in the event of your incapacity or death.
are many types of trusts to have very different individual needs. Frequently,
individuals who do not need a trust end up have a trust prepared, often after
going to a free luncheon trust seminar, and individuals who have a need for a
trust do not ever pursue trust preparation. Trusts can meet many needs and
can ensure that property is distributed in the manner you desire. Please call
our office at 419-502-2002 to discuss your estate planning needs and for an
evaluation to see if a Trust is appropriate for your situation.
individual passing away typically their estate will need to be probated whether
or not the individual left a Last Will and Testament. A common misconception is
that by not having a Will, or by having a Will, an individual will avoid their
estate from being probated. This is not the case if there is property which
needs to be transferred to others or there are outstanding bills to be paid.
event of your death, our office will assist your family members in a personal,
professional, and efficient manner in handling the probating of your estate.
Guardianships, Adoption, Name
addition to handling the probating of estates, our office handles other probate
matters, including Guardianships, Adoption, and Name Changes. Please call our
office at 419-502-2002 for details.