Experienced Eaton, Ohio Wills and Trusts Lawyer
William Bruce established Eaton in 1806, naming it after General William Eaton, an American Revolution hero. By 1846, there were more than 1,000 residents in the city of Eaton. Around that time, many believed sulfur water had medicinal curative properties, and people would travel from around the state to acquire sulfur water from Eaton. The nearby limestone quarries offered employment to many Eaton residents, with many people using the limestone as a primary building material. By 1886, Eaton had two newspaper offices, seven churches, and two banks; many local farmers grew tobacco, and several businesses in Eaton manufactured cigars, including F.P. Filbert, the town’s largest employer.
Today, Eaton continues to prosper, with many residents employed in agricultural-related areas. Some residents commute to Cincinnati to find employment, and in 2000, Eaton was Preble County’s largest urban center, with more than 8,000 residents. If you enjoy a little history, you might want to visit the massive oak tree at Ft. St. Clair Park—believed to be more than 250 years old. The oak tree was planted sometime in the 1700s, witnessing military life and many areas of pioneer life.
The oak tree also witnessed an important part of history in the battle between more than 200 Indian warriors and the soldiers stationed at the park. The warriors, led by Little Turtle, attacked a hundred mounted Kentucky riflemen camped outside the fort, and six men died in the battle. In 1977, the International Society of Arborculture and the National Arborist Association jointly recognized the Whispering Oaktree as being alive since the American Revolutionary Period.
Serving the Estate Planning Needs of Eaton, Ohio Residents
The Lovett & House attorneys have been helping Ohio residents plan their estates for many years—since 1989. Our team can help Eaton residents with every estate planning need. We leverage our extensive estate planning experience to ensure our Eaton, Ohio clients have an estate plan in place that will fully achieve the desired results. It is important that you not leave your loved ones unprepared—talk to a Lovett & House estate planning attorney today!
Why are Wills and Trusts Important?
Having an estate plan is crucial for most adults in the United States. While there are many documents you could benefit from having in your estate plan, the backbone of an estate plan includes a will and/or a trust. Under some circumstances, it could be beneficial for you to have both documents, while in others, you might only need a trust or a will.
Your estate planning attorney will help you determine whether you need a will, a trust, or both. When you have these documents, you can choose who will inherit your possessions. If you have minor children, you can use a will to name a guardian for them. Estate planning documents allow you to reduce taxes on what you leave behind and minimize the chances of family arguments and ugly legal battles.
What are the Implications and Effects of Dying Without a Will or Trust?
If you die without a will, you are said to have died intestate. In such a situation, an Ohio court will step in and make all the decisions you would have made for yourself and your family in an estate plan. If you die without a will, a court will name an administrator for your estate and determine, under Ohio intestacy laws, who will inherit your assets. The people chosen by the court could well be people you would never want to have your assets.
If you fail to have a will that names a guardian for your children, the court could choose the guardian, and their choice could be a person you would never choose to raise your children or to handle the finances for your children. If you do not name the person you would want to take over and make decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated, the court will make that choice for you. As you can see, when you fail to plan, any number of choices will be made on your behalf—none of which you may have wanted.
What are the Differences Between a Will and a Trust?
A will is what most people think of when they think about an estate plan. Your will instructs others how you want your assets and possessions to be distributed after your death. In a will, you can name a personal representative, the executor, who will carry out your instructions after your death. Your executor will handle the probate process, then will distribute your assets as per your instructions. If you have minor children, you definitely need a will to name a guardian for your children (a trust cannot be used for naming a guardian).
A trust exists for the sole purpose of protecting the assets in your estate, and while trusts are usually recommended for people with significant assets, a trust can be useful for people from all economic circumstances. While a will has to go through probate—which is public, lengthy, and can be expensive—a trust does not, therefore it is private. If you are not keen on having anyone with a passing interest know all the details of your estate plan, then you might consider a trust. An irrevocable trust can allow you to make more detailed provisions regarding your estate and generally has significant tax advantages. A trust will also allow you to name a person to take over the handling of your affairs and make decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated.
A trust can protect vulnerable beneficiaries, while a will or transfer on death designations cannot. If, when you die, one of your beneficiaries is in a divorce or a bankruptcy, under threat from creditors, or is drinking, gambling, or drug impaired, a will or beneficiary designation cannot help them. They could lose their inheritance. Or, if a beneficiary is receiving social security disability or other government benefits, they could have too much money, lose their eligibility for those benefits, and have to reapply once they’ve spent their inheritance. But if you have a trust, that instrument can contain language that protects the beneficiary, so they do not lose their inheritance or their government benefits. A will or a beneficiary designation cannot provide this protection. You must have a trust to do that.
How an Eaton, Ohio Estate Planning Attorney from Lovett & House Can Help
If you want to ensure your assets and your loved ones are properly protected when you can no longer protect them yourself, you need an estate plan. You want to be in control of who your assets will go to, who will be the guardian for your children, who will make decisions for you in the event of incapacitation, and much, much more. Having a will or trust—or better still, a comprehensive estate plan—allows you to have that control. The attorneys at Lovett & House are highly experienced and have been helping Ohio residents just like you since 1989. Don’t wait—start planning for the future now, to avoid leaving your family in a potentially messy situation. Contact Lovett & House today!