Ohio residents should make sure to avoid a few common errors when creating estate plans. For example, some people create a trust and then do not fund it properly. Assets might need to be retitled to be placed in a trust, or there may be some other required procedures. Estate owners should also be aware of assets that cannot be passed using a trust, such as property owned jointly with rights of survivorship.
It’s important to consider beneficiary designations as well. Life insurance policies and retirement accounts are among the types of assets that are usually passed using beneficiary designations. Failing to correctly prepare these documents could result in income tax consequences later.
Throughout the estate planning process, the testator should keep family members informed. While the final documents should be kept safe, safety deposit boxes or digitally encrypted files are probably not the best places for estate planning documents. An attorney may be able to suggest solutions for where to keep the documents. A simple list that contains all relevant information such as contact information for the attorney who helped prepare the estate plan and a list of assets may be helpful.
There are a number of factors that an estate owner may want to consider and discuss with an attorney when creating an estate plan. For example, if there is a family member who is likely to be irresponsible with money, they may want to create a trust that makes distributions at certain times. One may also want documents such as powers of attorney that appoint people to manage finances and health care decisions in cases of incapacitation.