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Experienced Troy, OH Estate Planning Lawyer
Troy, OH is located 19 miles north of Dayton. With a population of approximately 26,000, Troy is the county seat of Miami County. Both the largest city in the county and the 61st largest city in Ohio, Troy is part of the Dayton Metropolitan area. In 1914 a mansion was donated to the city by Mary Jane Hayner, the wife of William Hayner, who founded a Dayton-based mail-order whiskey business prior to the Prohibition. Today, this mansion houses the Hayner Distillery Collection, along with works by local artists. The Great Flood of 1913 impacted Troy, like many other Ohio towns and cities.
The Hobart Welded Steel House Company was located in Troy—a business that might have become significant in U.S. housing if prefab homes had ever really caught on. There remain 16 of the Hobart firm homes in Troy, all of which are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Troy is home to the annual Strawberry Festival that brings in 100,000 visitors to the town. This festival features over 100 arts and crafts vendors, and more than 60 food vendors in historic, downtown Troy, along the riverbanks of the Great Miami River.
According to Advance Capital Management, 55 percent of Americans die without a will or an estate plan, and 71.6 percent of Americans do not have an up-to-date will. 33 percent of older Americans have not discussed later-life and end-of-life plans with their family members, and about the same number have not informed their family where to find necessary legal, medical, and financial documents. While you might think the wealthy are better prepared than others, only 15 percent of those earning more than $150,000 per year have an up-to-date will.
When asked why they do not have an estate plan, almost half of all those without an estate plan said they simply had not gotten around to it. Forty-nine percent of Americans said they didn’t believe their assets were worth enough to bother with estate planning. While on the surface it might seem as though Americans are reluctant to engage in estate planning, almost three-quarters of those surveyed said they believed having an estate plan would give them significant peace of mind. If you would like to have that peace of mind, it’s time to talk to a Troy estate planning attorney from Lovett & House.
Why Should You Choose the Troy Estate Planning Attorneys at Lovett & House?
At Lovett & House, we understand that you have choices when choosing an estate planning attorney. Lovett & House Co., LPA founding partner George Lovett is certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law by the Ohio State Bar Association. Our estate planning attorneys have leveraged their experience, knowledge, and skills to ensure each Troy, Ohio client has a comprehensive estate plan in place. At Lovett & House, we:
- Have more than 100 positive Google reviews
- Offer a free five-minute phone appointment
- Have decades of experience in estate planning
- Have an attorney that is a Board-Certified Specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association
Don’t be caught off guard by the unexpected. We will help ensure you are prepared for the future and that you will not leave your loved ones unprepared.
What is an Estate Plan?
Many people believe an estate plan is only for the rich, but this is simply not true. An estate plan can be for any estate, no matter the size or worth. When you engage in estate planning you will designate who will receive your assets and handle your responsibilities following death or incapacitation. The goal of your estate plan is to ensure your beneficiaries receive your assets in a manner that takes the least time and hassle, saves legal fees, and allows them to minimize estate taxes, gift taxes, and income taxes.
We Try to Keep It Simple!
Many persons avoid the estate planning process because they fear it will be too complex. The Troy estate planning attorneys at Lovett & House understand this fear. We do all we can to keep it as simple as possible. We avoid giving a lot of homework. We find that most folks already know what we need to know, but they don’t realize it. By the time we finish the initial consultation, we normally cover all of the following steps although the client does not realize it. These steps to an estate plan include:
- Taking inventory of your assets, including homes, land, other real estate, vehicles, collectibles, checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, ownership in a business, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and personal possessions. Don’t worry about bringing these documents!! If we need them, we will ask, but normally we do not need to know account numbers, social security numbers, or even the name of your bank or broker.
- Determining whether your family will be properly taken care of. Your life insurance, and how you want it distributed, is something we will talk about. Next, think about your wishes for the care of your minor children and for a special needs adult child. We will ask about these things during the initial consultation.
- Including important legal documents. If you choose to use a Revocable Living Trust, you can avoid a guardianship if there is incapacitation. Advance directives, like a living will and a health care power of attorney, state how long you want to receive life support and appoint others to make your decisions in a medical emergency. A durable financial power of attorney allows someone to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so. Our attorneys will discuss these things during your first meeting with us.
- Discussing the Ohio and federal estate tax laws with your Troy estate planning attorney as a way of minimizing income and estate taxes. Relax: Very few persons will face any estate tax.
- Reassessing—Life changes happen. We understand this and make it easier for you to address them in your estate planning. Your estate plan should change as well, so if there is a major change in your life (marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, getting a new job, etc.) your plan should be revised to address it. Even if you have no major life changes, we recommend you take a look at your estate plan every two to four years to make sure it still accurately represents your wishes. To help you in this review process, all of our clients receive an invitation each year inviting them to come in for a low cost estate plan review. We politely remind you to do this so you do not have to worry about it.
Estate Planning FAQs
What is Probate and Why Should I Try to Avoid It?
Probate is the legal procedure an estate must go through after a death. If you have a will with a named executor, that person will start the probate process. If you do not have a will, an administrator will be named by the courts. All your debts will be paid then your estate will be distributed to the proper heirs. The most common reasons for avoiding probate include: 1) the details of your estate will become public, 2) it can be time-consuming, 3) it can be expensive, and 4) if a beneficiary is in a bankruptcy or divorce, if they are drinking or gambling, or if the are getting government benefits, then the probate process can cost them their inheritance or government benefits. While a will can offer many different benefits, probate can largely be avoided by using a trust to distribute your estate. The trust can reduce the fees and delay, make the process faster, and protect vulnerable beneficiaries.
Can I Make Plans for My Pets?
For many people, providing for their pets in the event of their death is extremely important. We have helped people protect their pets in their estate planning many times. The first step in the process is to identify the person(s) or organizations that will have physical custody of your pets, providing them with care. Normally, the family member or friend, or the non-profit agency with which you are familiar, is willing to take on this role. We help you choose this person or entity. Relax: Most persons know someone who is willing to help but have not thought about it. We help you do this. Once we have answered the “who,” we give suggestions on the amount of money necessary to provide for your pet’s lifetime care and how to make this available.
How a Troy Estate Planning Attorney from Lovett & House Can Help with Your Estate Planning Needs
Because life is uncertain, it is important that you are not caught off guard by the unexpected, leaving your loved ones unprepared. When you set up a meeting with the experienced Lovett & House estate planning attorneys, we will listen and discuss your individual estate, then work with you to create an estate plan that fully meets your unique needs. We will help you achieve peace of mind for your future and the future of your loved ones. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information.