Wills – A Will or Last Will and Testament is a document that lets your loved ones know how you want your property divided when you die. If you have minor children, these documents are used to appoint someone to take care of your minor children. You will also appoint someone to be the executor of your estate, who is responsible for paying debts of the estate and making sure your wishes are honored. If you do not have a will then your property will be distributed according to the laws of the State of Ohio.

Durable Power of Attorney – This document is only valid while you are living. It is effective immediately unless you determine an alternative effective date, and can be revoked at any time. A durable power of attorney authorizes a person to handle your financial affairs, such as paying bills, filing taxes, selling and investing property, and making gifts. Great care should be given when choosing the person you are going to give this power to.

Health Care Power of Attorney – This document designates a person to make health care decisions on your behalf. It is only effective after your physician has determined that you are not competent to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Living Will – This document tells your wishes regarding life sustaining treatment or life support when two physicians have determined that you are terminally ill or are permanently unaware of your surroundings, can’t recover and death will likely occur without life support .

Probate / Estate Planning & Administration – Many believe that you should avoid probate court at all costs. However, avoiding probate is not always advisable, particularly if it means setting up a trust unnecessarily. Probate Court ensures that the terms of your will are carried out and will settle any disputes that arise. The value of the assets that you pass on to your family will determine what type of estate will be opened. Estate administration includes filing necessary probate court documents including the inventory and accounting. It also includes assisting with the payment of the decedent’s final debts and distributing assets to the beneficiaries.

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