Estate Planning Attorneys in Columbus, OH

It’s Not Just Paperwork It’s Personal

That's why we're committed to offering a safe environment where individuals can accurately define themselves, their partner, and who they call family.

Why Estate Planning?

Be a Hero to Your Loved Ones

Take the Stress Away When You’re Gone.

Estate planning is essential for managing your finances and protecting your loved ones' well-being. By planning how your assets will be distributed and choosing beneficiaries, you can avoid disputes and reduce tax burdens for your family in the future. We offer two kinds of estate planning packages:

1. Comprehensive - $2,000/each or $3,000 for a couple if executed simultaneously. This plan includes meeting time with an attorney to discuss avoiding probate, disinheriting individuals, or handling individuals likely to contest your wishes and ensuring beneficiaries receive a step up in basis for taxes.
2. Exhaustive - $4,000 for individuals or $5,000 for a couple if executed simultaneously. This plan is for those individuals who have complicated financials (i.e. high net worth or multiple businesses) or demand a trust.

All plans include a will, healthcare POA, financial POA, living will, and HIPAA release. The more
robust plans include additional documents.

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No Matter Your Background We’re Here to Help

We recognize that estate planning is deeply personal, especially when it comes to defining your family and partnerships. That's why we're dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment where individuals can define themselves, their partners, and their families accurately. We believe this perspective is invaluable in ensuring that everyone, regardless of background, receives the support and guidance they deserve in estate planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is the process of arranging for the disposal and management of one’s assets during their lifetime and after death. It typically includes the creation of documents like wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. You do not need a medevil castle to qualify as an estate! Anyone who has stuff (clothes, bank accounts, or a car) can use an estate plan! In you will, you would also identify who you want to take care of any kids you may have if you and their other parent(s) pass away. 

Why is estate planning important?

Estate planning is crucial for ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, minimizing taxes, avoiding probate, and providing for your family’s financial security after you are gone. It can also help manage decisions regarding your healthcare if you become incapacitated.

What documents are typically involved in estate planning?

Common documents include:

  • Wills: Legal documents that outline your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any minor children.
  • Trusts: Arrangements where a trustee holds legal possession of assets for beneficiaries, which can help avoid probate and reduce estate taxes.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney: Authorizes a specific person you nominate to act on your behalf to make health care decisions for you when you are unable.
  • Financial Power of Attorney (AKA Statutory Power of Attorney): Authorizes a specific person to act on your behalf related to your finances. It allows them to pay your bills with your money if you are unable to do so. 
  • Healthcare Directives (aka Living Wills): This is a directive that if you are in a terminable condition, you are telling your care team that you do not want any life sustaining care; instead, you want palliative care.

What happens if someone dies without a will?

If someone dies without a will, their assets are distributed according to state “intestacy” laws. Typically, this means that close relatives like spouses and children will inherit the assets, but this might not always reflect the deceased's wishes. The probate court will oversee all aspects of distribution of assets. 

What is probate, and how can it be avoided?

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person's estate is properly distributed to heirs and designated beneficiaries and any debt owed to creditors is paid off. Every county in Ohio has a probate court dedicated to doing this. It can be lengthy and costly. Avoiding probate can be done by establishing trusts, holding property jointly, or designating beneficiaries on assets.

Do I need an attorney to create an estate plan?

While it's possible to create an estate plan on your own, especially with simple assets, consulting with an estate planning attorney is advisable for those with substantial assets, complex family situations, or specific wishes that might require legal expertise to enforce.

When should I update my estate plan?

It's wise to review and possibly update your estate plan after major life events like marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a beneficiary, significant changes in financial status, or changes in the law that may affect your estate planning.

Should you hire a lawyer or do it yourself?

Drafting a will can be done on your own using various online tools, especially if your estate is straightforward. A simple will does not avoid the lengthy process of probate. Hiring an attorney is advisable if (a) you want to avoid probate, (b)  your estate involves significant assets, (c) complex family situations (like previous marriages or estranged family members), or (d) if you wish to establish detailed trusts or tax planning. A lawyer ensures that all the requirements are met and that your will is less likely to be contested. 

What to do I do after the death of a family member?

Take time to grieve. Losing a family member is never easy. As you plan for the funeral or celebration of life, you will need to obtain a death certificate. A death certificate is almost always required when claiming property as a beneficiary or throught the probate process. Next, you will need to begin the process of locating the will, assets, and debts.  The next step is to handling financial accounts, settling debts, and distributing assets according to the beneficiary, will, or statute.  It’s beneficial to consult with an estate or probate attorney to guide you through the process.

Can I make a plan for my pets?

 You can ensure that your pets are cared for through your estate plan. This can include setting up a pet trust, which legally sets aside funds to be used for your pet's care, and designating a caretaker who will have the responsibility to look after your pets according to the instructions you leave.

Can I leave money to a charity?

Absolutely. You can include charitable gifts in your will or trust. 

What is a guardianship?

A guardianship is a legal mechanism set up to manage the personal and financial affairs of an individual deemed incapable of doing so themselves, such as a minor child or an incapacitated adult. The court appoints a guardian to make decisions on behalf of the protected person. You can nominate a guardian for your dependents in your will, which the court typically honors unless proven against the best interests of the dependents.