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Vandalia Estate Planning Attorney
Perhaps you are one of the 16,000 or so residents of Vandalia, Ohio. Vandalia is located about 10 miles north of Dayton on Dixie Drive, situated between the Stillwater and Great Miami Rivers. This northern Montgomery County city is distinctive, offering amenities not often seen in cities two to three times as large. Many find it the perfect place to call home, thanks to affordable housing, low crime rates, and reasonable tax rates.
Vandalia residents—like all residents in the U.S.—must think about planning for the future. Most of us put it off, somehow hoping we can avoid it altogether. Unfortunately, when estate planning is avoided, those you love will pay the price. No matter your age, your marital status, or your financial position in life, there are plenty of benefits associated with planning ahead.
At Lovett & House, we have been serving the needs of Vandalia residents (as well as the needs of residents in the surrounding areas) for many years. Every adult who owns anything at all can benefit from an estate plan—estate plans are not limited to the super-wealthy. When you choose to have a comprehensive estate plan prepared by a Vandalia estate planning attorney from Lovett & House, you can be sure your wishes will be carried out in the event of your death or incapacitation.
Attorney George Lovett brings thousands of hours in estate planning, trust, and probate law to the table, as well as extensive knowledge of probate and elder laws in Ohio. Planning for your future increases the likelihood of success and reduces your risk and the risk to your loved ones. Remember—few things are as difficult as we imagine them to be! Visit Lovett & House, where an experienced Vandalia estate planning attorney is waiting to help you plan for your future. We bring the following benefits to the table:
- More than 100 positive Google Reviews
- A free 5-minute phone appointment to get you started
- Decades of experience in estate planning and elder law
- A Board-Certified Specialist, certified by the Ohio State Bar Association
I Don’t Think I Have an “Estate”—Do I Still Need to Plan?
Many of us think estate planning is only for the super-wealthy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Estate planning is a key component of overall financial planning that should be addressed throughout your life. If you own virtually anything or have others who are dependent on your income and care, you need an estate plan.
An estate plan allows you to address when you want your assets to be distributed, who you want those assets to go to, and what measures you want to be taken in the event you suffer incapacitation. These goals are accomplished through the use of estate planning tools, including trusts, wills, life insurance, and even planning for long-term care. When you fail to plan, much of what you’ve spent a lifetime building could be lost to taxes, legal fees, probate, and even family disagreements.
How Can You Benefit from Estate Planning?
An effective estate plan can do the following:
- Protects your assets from creditors, or even from your heirs’ creditors
- Allows you to have all your records organized so that your loved ones can easily locate important records
- Can minimize your tax burden as well as the potential estate tax burden for your heirs
- Allows you to decide who you want to leave your assets to, and even when they should receive those assets
- Provides legal guardianship for minor children, along with your instructions for their care
- The use of a Special Needs Trust can ensure a special needs adult continues to receive government benefits while protecting their inheritance.
- Can prevent your estate from being involved in a lengthy, costly probate process
What Are the Components of an Estate Plan?
While every estate plan is unique in some way—there are four basic components of an estate plan that include: A will, a Living Will, a Health Care Power of Attorney, and a Financial Power of Attorney.
- A will controls how your assets are distributed upon your death, naming an executor and beneficiaries. A will must go through probate, which can be lengthy and costly. While a will is a less expensive estate planning choice today, it can trigger additional costs in the long run. A will allows you to name a guardian for your children, providing for their financial care.
- A Living Will allows you to state how you want life support to be administered. Your preferences for other medical decisions, including pain management and organ donation are also a part of your Living Will. It is important to note that in the state of Ohio, absent a Living Will, life-sustaining treatments may not be withdrawn for a period of 12 months. After that time, a representative of the patient may execute a written consent to withdraw life support.
- A Health Care Power of Attorney applies in the event of your incapacitation, naming another person to make decisions for your health care in your stead. This can prevent treatment disputes among family members, and, if there is no Health Care Power of Attorney in place, a Guardianship procedure could become necessary.
- A Financial Power of Attorney appoints an agent to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation and can prevent family disputes regarding who is in charge of your finances. In some cases, a Financial Power of Attorney can allow the named person to engage in Medicaid planning on your behalf.
In addition to the above documents, a comprehensive estate plan will also include:
- An appropriate trust
- Life insurance
- A buy-sell agreement for those with a business
- Nursing home, Medicaid, and long-term care planning
- Instructions for your funeral and burial
- Family limited partnerships to help families avoid federal estate taxes
- A plan for digital assets
What Happens If I Fail to Plan?
There are many negative outcomes when you fail to engage in estate planning. To name just a few:
- Perhaps most importantly, when you die or become incapacitated without an estate plan in place, the state of Ohio may end up making crucial decisions that will impact you or your loved ones.
- In certain cases, your estate could be taxed as much as 40 percent when you have not addressed estate and other taxes.
- Business continuity could be adversely affected, with detrimental effects on business revenues, ongoing operations, and even brand reputation.
- Existing conflicts among a blended family can be exacerbated when there are no clear instructions from the decedent.
- If you suddenly became incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, your wishes may not be honored. Family members may be thrown into turmoil as they struggle to speak on your behalf, with no clear instructions.
Even those with modest assets can benefit from many of these estate planning tools.
How the Vandalia Estate Planning Attorneys from Lovett & House Can Help
Having an experienced Vandalia estate planning attorney from Lovett & House can make a significant difference in the estate planning process. Our highly experienced attorneys can provide the information you need regarding financial strategies (and more), that are tailored to your unique situation. We stay up to date on the ever-changing tax laws and estate and gift exclusion regulations, so you are always covered. As we offer estate planning solutions that meet your needs today (and in the future), we also deliver a clear, detailed description of the costs involved. Contact Lovett & House today for all your Vandalia estate planning needs.