Estate law includes updating or preparing wills, trusts, health care directives, and tax planning. Our Lancaster, Ohio, trust and estate planning attorneys may also guide clients towards other associated asset protection strategies.
Dagger Law estate planning lawyers in Lancaster, Ohio have assisted families with planning for the future of their surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, and sometimes great-grandchildren since 1902. We have a proven track record of wealth management strategies that fit any client’s needs.
Seeing your vision through is precisely why you need an estate plan. You can take care of your loved ones after you are no longer able and ensure that your legacy lives on as you had envisioned it. More importantly, it would be best to have an estate plan that will quickly resolve without issues once in probate. Our will and trust attorneys can help you develop an efficient and thorough strategy.
Estate attorneys in Ohio provide legal advice to clients and family members regarding:
- Effective use of estate tax planning
- Evaluating the best gift tax strategies for your situation
- Preparing documents such as wills and trusts to govern your assets and specify your wishes
- Wealth management plans to protect more of what you have earned
- Asset protection
- Creation of wills or trusts
- Health care directives to carry out your wishes in a medical emergency
- Planning for long-term care. For example, nursing homes, home nurse aides, or assisted living facilities
- Guardianship plans for loved ones who will need help when you are gone
- Drafting power of attorney documents
- Tax planning
- Decisions about the use of a testamentary trust
- Planning for the costs of a funeral
- Guiding executors and trustees regarding their duties
- Evaluating life insurance needs
- Elder law, including, the exploitation of senior citizens and abuse or negligence allegations against nursing homes
Don’t see your particular issue listed above? That is no problem! We enjoy a challenge and are happy to assist you with the legal issue that you are facing. Use our convenient Contact Page to schedule an appointment to discuss your legal matter with an attorney.
FAQs Answered by Our Estate Planning Lawyers:
Q: What is an estate?
A: An estate is a term used to describe all the assets a person owns. Typically, estates consist of money, real estate (sometimes called real property), automobiles, and other personal property. Whether you own a little or a lot, Dagger Law recommends creating an estate plan. Commonly, this is done with legal documents such as a will or a trust, to protect your assets. It is also important to remember that after you have met with an estate planning lawyer to draft your estate planning documents, there will need to be periodic reviews.
We have found that life has a funny way of slowly adding minor changes to real property holdings and assets. Most of these come in the form of new minor children or grandchildren. They may also arise by purchasing additional assets such as new jewelry or a new car. Sometimes, replacing assets, like replacing an old vehicle, can create a shift in your assets. The sale or purchase of a home is another common event. When you look back at the estate plan from several years ago, you can see how significant the total change has been.
Q: What happens if I die and don’t have a will or trust established?
A: When a resident dies without making a last will and testament, intestacy succession laws apply under Ohio Law. You can find this law in Title 21 of the Ohio Revised Code. If a person does die intestate, these Title 21 laws dictate the deceased person’s estate’s succession. Securing an estate planning attorney near you will help prevent this from happening, however, we recommend seeking legal advice to handle the estate according to Ohio legal guidelines if this has happened.
Q: What is the difference between a will and a trust?
A: The main difference that could influence whether you want to establish a will or a trust is that wills are effective upon death. A trust can take effect as soon as the day of signing. Often, a trust will cost more to create, but it will expedite the transfer of assets upon death.
Q: What is the cost difference between a will and a trust?
A: It is more expensive to establish a trust, but less costly once death occurs. By comparison, wills are a cost-effective means by which you can record your intentions, but it requires more work (and thus more cost) once the probate process begins. There is also a trust known as a testamentary trust, which establishes a trust upon an individual’s death. In this case, the trust would not take effect while the individual is alive.
The main benefit of a testamentary trust is that it can reduce the tax paid by a beneficiary. The potential drawback of the testamentary trust is that it is subject to probate. A will, subject to probate, would establish the testamentary trust. Our Lancaster, Ohio, estate planning attorneys can review each of these options and help you decide whether a will or a trust is best suited for management of your estate.
Q: What is a power of attorney?
A: A power of attorney is a written document that permits someone to act on your behalf. That authority can be as broad or as narrow as you wish it to be, but common uses would be to act on behalf of business matters, personal affairs, or to address a legal issue. For example, this authority might include accessing a bank account or other business account on your behalf. Likewise, it may permit the sale or registration of a property or vehicle.
Q: What is a health care directive? Is this different from medical power of attorney?
A: Often referred to as an advance directive, this type of legal document explains what medical procedures you wish to receive to keep you alive, or who might make those decisions for you if you are unable to communicate. A medical power of attorney can accomplish a similar desired goal.
Q: Is there a difference between estate planning attorneys and elder law attorneys?
A: Elder law refers to those areas of practice that affect aging populations. Certainly, estate planning can encompass legal aspects that ensure you plan for your later years in life. Those plans can include strategies for financial freedom, long-term care, and simply staying autonomous as you age.
Q: What is Probate?
A: Simply put, this is the legal process of officially proving a will in a probate court. In detail, it is a judicial process to evaluate what assets are in an estate. The method includes identifying beneficiaries and those responsible for distributing the estate to the beneficiaries. Ultimately, it legally transfers the estate assets to the beneficiaries. You can probably infer from reading that list that asset distribution only happens after all the other questions are determined. If there are disagreements, the process could take some time to resolve those disagreements.
Avoiding delay is why a clear estate planning document prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney is essential. A properly drafted will, or trust, can help shorten the probate period. Or eliminate probate by establishing a trust.
Q: How does a trust eliminate the probate period?
A: While a trust does eliminate the need to probate an estate, in most circumstances, it might be better to think of a trust as simply changing when the probate process happens. Because the trust takes effect immediately upon execution, the work of making all those determinations about assets and beneficiaries occurs early on in the process. It may require revision and correction as circumstances change. Upon death, the executed trust remains in effect rather than starting to become effective. A trust typically speeds up the time it takes for beneficiaries to access the assets left to them.
Q: How do you find the right estate planning attorney for your needs?
A: Your estate planning attorney’s legal advice and direction will be essential to implementing an estate plan. You want a legal document that both disposes of your assets according to your wishes and meets your other objectives. We have seen both modest amounts of personal property and extensive estates and pride ourselves on managing both with professionalism and respect for your hard-earned assets. In both 2020 and 2021, Dagger Law created an average of 14 new estate plans per month. Indeed, every plan designed is as unique as the client.
While we have helped create many estate plans over the years, there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter format that suits every person or family. Our will and trust attorneys carefully tailored each plan to our client’s needs. Dagger Law can offer the proper mix of broad experience and customized planning to ensure that your estate plan has you covered from every angle.
Q: Will an estate planning attorney travel to me, or do I need to come to your offices in either Lancaster or Canal Winchester?
A: Although some meetings will need to take place in our office, we work hard to keep your travel time minimal. With Dagger Law’s estate planning lawyers in Canal Winchester and Lancaster, Ohio, our clients have two office locations to choose from. We understand how disruptive legal cases can be, which is why our team does everything we can to reduce travel and inconveniences for our clients. Most of our correspondence will take place via phone calls and emails in an effort to keep disruption to a minimum. We know that circumstances may arise in which our clients are unable to physically reach us, in which case we will travel to your location.
Q: Do I need to hire a trust and estate planning attorney near me?
A: Suppose you retain a Dagger Law attorney to represent you. In that case, your attorney will travel to the necessary court hearings and legal procedures to represent you anywhere in Ohio! Please note that in some instances, the cost to represent your case may require an unusual amount of money due to travel expenses. In such cases, we may recommend using legal representation closer to the location of your case. We are happy to provide referrals in these instances if we are able.
If you’ve found yourself searching “estate planning attorney near me,” rest assured that we serve a wide range of communities throughout Ohio. We proudly serve the following communities throughout central and southeastern Ohio:
We proudly serve the following communities throughout Central and Southeastern Ohio:
- Fairfield County
- Franklin County
- Hocking County
- Licking County
- Pickaway County
- Baltimore, Ohio
- Buckeye Lake
- Canal Winchester
- Greater Columbus Area
- Lancaster, Ohio
- Newark, Ohio
- Other locations nearby
Check out the nearest location to you by clicking our Locations Page.
Contact One of Our Dagger Law Estate Planning Attorneys for Assistance
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Protecting Your Children’s Future with a Lancaster Estate Planning Lawyer
To be sure, it is a logical statement that everyone would be better off planning for their estate. However, we want to focus on why families with kids need to be planning. Nobody wants to sit down and think about what happens to their kids if they suddenly and unexpectedly die. Even so, there are many important reasons to establish a clear plan, which is why you need our estate planning lawyers in Lancaster, Ohio.
First of all, as a parent, we know you want what is best for your children.
In your mind, you probably already have ideas about whether you would like friends to raise your kids, a godparent, or your favorite aunt. In many cases, the loosely developed plan will take little work to legally document. Without a will, the state has no way of knowing whom you would trust to raise your kids or how you want your children to receive your property.
Second, nobody knows your children better than you do.
While it is unlikely that the state would allow any harm to your children, it can’t understand the particular needs they might have. Suppose the state might equitably divide your property. In that case, it may not account for your wish to help a child buy their first car or assist a child with paying for college in your absence. These situations may not apply to your children equally. By establishing a will, you ensure that the state considers these critical items, which is where our Lancaster estate planning attorneys come into your planning process. We’re here to help you prep for your children’s future by establishing a will or trust and planning your estate ahead of time.
Finally, you know who can best care for your children.
In addition to our second point, you may know the strengths of the potential guardians in a way that the probate court does not. For example, you may admire the way your aunt loves and dotes on your children. However, your accountant brother would be a better person to manage the assets that your child may now inherit upon your death. For this reason, an estate plan would allow you to create distinctions about who manages aspects of your child’s life until they become adults.
We understand that you want what is best for your children.
Importantly, with some careful planning, you can protect your family even after an untimely death. Furthermore, it is hard to predict all the plans you might want to spell out in a will or trust. Therefore, Dagger Law recommends that you sit down with one of our Lancaster estate planning attorneys to ensure that your wishes and intentions are clearly defined and allowed under the law. We are here to help you protect your assets and your children’s future. Call today to get the process started with an estate planning lawyer near Lancaster Ohio.