Football season is underway, and now is a great time to evaluate and update your estate plan. Just as the Bengals or Browns (or substitute your favorite NFL team) go to great lengths each year to assemble a team with members whose diverse skills and talents can win games, so too your estate plan can be strengthened with the right professionals on your side. Who should you pick to help you craft a thorough and comprehensive estate plan? Some of the professionals you may need to speak with as you and your attorney craft your estate plan include:
Your Accountant or Tax Professional
Two things in life are certain: death and taxes. This includes taxes that can be payable after your death and by your heirs and beneficiaries if they inherit a substantial amount of assets from you. In the past, some estate planning firms and attorneys recommended that clients create trusts to avoid taxes, but such advice may not make sense for some – especially individuals who may not have millions upon millions of dollars in assets. Tax laws are always changing, so it can be very beneficial to employ the services of someone who can comment on the tax implications of your estate planning choices.
Your Funeral Director or a Professional to Handle Your Arrangements
Your estate plan should include the firm or person you are wanting to handle your final arrangements, such as the director of your funeral home or crematorium. By making selections in advance (such as what type of service you want to have or what style of casket you want to be buried in), you can save your heirs and survivors some painful and potentially difficult decisions.
Your Banker, Insurance Agent or Financial Professional
Some assets like life insurance policies and retirement accounts do not pass through the court-supervised probate process but, are instead, distributed to a named beneficiary. Having a comprehensive estate plan means making sure that each of these non-probate assets is accounted for and that the named beneficiary of your accounts and policies reflects your decisions and choices. Having a professional who is familiar with all of your various non-probate accounts can help to expedite the process of completing your estate plan.
Your Estate Planning Lawyer from Dawes Legal, LLC
Your attorney can be thought of as your “quarterback,” the one who executes the game plan that ends with your completed estate plan. The other professionals on your team can help explain complicated matters (like federal and state tax law) to you, but your attorney discusses the ramifications of these matters with you and is the one who writes the estate planning documents that are needed to carry out your wishes.
Needless to say, it is important to have an attorney who has significant experience in developing a variety of estate plans – especially estate plans for individuals whose assets are similar to yours. Having an attorney who has specific knowledge of estate planning issues helps ensure that you are able to locate and consult with other professionals as needed to make informed decisions about how to handle your affairs upon your passing.
Dawes Legal, LLC has been helping Ohio individuals and families prepare for the future since 2011. Our knowledgebase is substantial, allowing us to assist individuals with a wide variety of goals and assets. We collaborate with our clients to help them discover how they can best benefit those individuals and institutions they wish to help with their assets once they have passed. Schedule your estate planning consultation with us by calling our office at (614) 733-9999.