Does Your Family Know What to Do When You Die?

Death comes for us all, whether we plan for it or not. Given that harsh reality, it’s tempting to simply avoid thinking about it—after all, there’s nothing you can do about it, and you may not be comfortable talking about how to plan for death. But planning for death is one of the last and kindest gifts you can give to the people you love. Let’s talk about how to discuss your estate plan with your family, as well as your last wishes.

Discuss Your Estate Plan With Loved Ones

Having to have “the talk” is never easy, and there are various components of it: end of life questions, how you want your property distributed, and how to plan your funeral. There is often an easy, if unfortunate, introduction to the topic: the death of a friend, neighbor, or other family member.

You can begin the conversation with your loved ones by saying something along the lines of, “You know, since Mrs. Smith passed away, I’ve been thinking about the things you’ll need to know about my wishes someday. I hope that day will be a long way off, but I know it will be easier on you… Read More

Advantages of Probate Mediation

Probate is the court-supervised process of administering a deceased person’s estate after their death. Ohio probate courts are also involved in appointing guardians for people who lack the capacity to manage their own affairs. These processes can be emotionally charged, and it is not uncommon for family members to have disputes about how estate business should be handled or who should be appointed administrator or guardian. These disputes have historically been resolved by litigation in the probate court.

Probate litigation may result in a definitive answer about the issue at hand, but probate matters are often also about conflicts that a court cannot effectively address. In recent years, probate mediation has become more popular as a way of reaching deeper, more lasting resolutions to the issues involved in probate disputes.

What is Probate Mediation?

Probate mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party, a trained mediator, helps parties to a probate dispute reach a mutually agreeable resolution… Read More

Storing Your Estate Planning Documents

Estate planning documents are only useful if the right people can reach them at the right time. You want to store your documents in a place where they will be safe, yet accessible to the people you want to be able to find them (and not others). What should you think about when deciding where and how to store your estate planning documents?

Organizing Estate Planning Documents

The first step in organizing and storing your estate planning documents is to identify just what constitutes your estate plan. An estate plan can, and should, include more than just a last will and testament. Some of the documents that might be included in your estate plan are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Trust
  • Durable financial power of attorney
  • Medical power of attorney
  • Living will
  • Life insurance policies

In short, these are documents that your loved ones will need to access when you are unable to communicate their location, either because you are… Read More