While many people in Ohio may love Aretha Franklin's music, they may want to take a different path when it comes to their estate planning decisions. After the Queen of Soul passed away in August 2018, it was generally believed that she never executed a will. As a result, her estate has remained in the probate courts since that time, with relatives struggling over how her significant assets will be distributed, including valuable song royalties with ongoing income. More recently, three different handwritten wills were located in different locations and proffered to the court; it is not clear if any of them have legal standing.
A trust instead of a will could be the right choice for some people in Ohio who are creating an estate plan. A trust can offer more privacy and can distribute assets to beneficiaries more quickly because it does not have to pass through probate as a will does. However, a trust can also hold assets if there are reasons a beneficiary should not immediately receive them.
According to a Caring.com study, only 42 percent of Americans have created any sort of estate plan. For Ohio residents who don't have an estate plan, it is best to start one by creating a will. A will can dictate who receives certain assets or who is allowed to be a guardian of a minor child.
Some Ohio millennials may think estate planning is only an important topic for older, wealthy people with multiple heirs. Even many older adults who are single or do not have kids might feel that they do not need a will or other estate documents. However, making a plan can provide benefits to people at all levels of wealth or stages of life. In addition, it can provide peace of mind.
For art collectors in Ohio, paintings and sculptures are often their most precious possessions. Accumulated over years and at significant cost, art collections reflect not simply financial investments but also aesthetic passions. At the same time, they can be valuable assets. Despite that fact, many people hesitate to make a plan for how a collection will be handled after death. However, failing to include artwork in an estate plan can come with significant costs for heirs.
Baby boomers in Ohio and other parts of the United States can take comfort in knowing they are part of the wealthiest generation in American history. Because of this fact, many boomers also wish to pass along certain assets to preferred beneficiaries. However, unexpected estate-related expenses may make this task difficult. One possible way boomers in The Buckeye State with significant assets can make things easier for heirs is by making life insurance part of an estate plan.
There is a significant difference in how Ohio residents over 50 approach estate planning compared to how their children and grandchildren approach the subject. For the most part, older Americans have spent their lives managing their money in an organized and focused manner. Conversely, younger Americans tend to be more worried about paying off debt or meeting other challenges as opposed to thinking about the future. This lack of planning is something that many parents and grandparents find hard to understand.
Characters from the Marvel Comics universe, like Spider-Man and Captain America, are familiar names among many Ohio residents. The passing of Stan Lee, the company's founder, leaves behind a large estate. Any will or trust established by the former publisher and chairman has not yet been publicly disclosed. If an estate plan is lacking, then a lengthy court process could ensue as possible beneficiaries make their claims.
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.