Financial power of attorney blogs by cleveland estate planning attorney

power of attorney

Financial Power of Attorney | Baron Law | Cleveland, Ohio

Financial power attorney (POA) is a set of documents that you’re giving your agent the ability to act and make financial decisions on your behalf. They’re most commonly used in an elder law scenario. They can also be used in a crisis scenario, if you are overseas, a business owner, and you need to elect someone to make those decisions on your behalf.

Are There Different Types of Powers of Attorneys?

General and Limited:

A general power of attorney gives your agent the ability to govern any part of your estate plan. Whereas, a limited power of attorney is restricted from having control over certain aspects of your estate that you deem fit.

Springing and Current:

A springing power of attorney only allows your agent to act when a certain offense occurs. Whereas, a current power of attorney can act at any time. We recommend that clients have a current power of attorney because it can be difficult to really point out a point time when the springing power returning comes into effect.

How Do I Know if My Financial POA is Up-To-Date?

Financial power of attorney laws changed in 2012, so if you have not updated your power of attorney since then, you’ll want to get it updated as soon as possible.

In addition, you’ll want to look for hot powers in your financial power of attorney, which are:

  • Gifting Powers
  • Powers Over Beneficiary designations
  • Powers Over Retirement Accounts
  • Ability to Make Trusts
  • Safety Deposit Boxes

These are the hot powers, and if you don’t have those, then financial institutions may not warrant your financial power of attorney. It’s really important that you look for these in your document.


Estate planning can seem like a big hassle because they are so many levels which require close detail. If you want to make sure your financial POA is up-to-date and can really act on your behalf, contact us at Baron Law today.

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Six-Month Creditor Claim Period

Payment of the decedent’s debts is one of the basic responsibilities of an estate fiduciary. Ohio law specifically provides that the fiduciary of an estate shall proceed with diligence to pay the debts of the decedent. The critical questions remain, however, of who to pay and when to pay them. Unless a fiduciary is confident that the estate will have more than enough assets to pay all of the debts of the decedent, it may actually be better not to pay any debts received until the expiration of the creditor’s claim period. Under Ohio law, legitimate creditors have six months to present their claims. When such period expires, only the majority of legitimate debts claims against the estate will remain because if specified claims are not brought timely, they are foreclosed as a matter of law. At this time it can be determined whether or not there are sufficient probate assets with which to pay the debts or if the estate is insolvent. Most people, however, are ignorant of this little wrinkle of Ohio probate law. As such, when a loved one or friend passes, always contact an experienced Ohio probate attorney.

All too often a gung-ho fiduciary starts paying estate debts without a comprehensive accounting of estate assets or complete list of debts and obligations. This results in payment of debts which may have fallen off after the creditor’s claim period or, more seriously, if Ohio statutes are not fully complied during estate administration or assets are prematurely distributed, potential personal liability for a fiduciary. This means that if a surviving spouse, heir, beneficiary, or legitimate creditor should have gotten something from the estate that a fiduciary mistakenly gave away, the fiduciary must personally pay them their share, whatever the amount or value of the asset. This looming threat of personal liability is a significant reason why must appointed fiduciaries seek the counsel of experienced Cleveland estate planning and probate attorneys.

It cannot be understated the significant windfall potential for an estate if the six-month creditor’s claim period is waited out. The difficulty, however, is convincing friends, heirs, and devisees to be patient. Easier said than done. Now, after the debts of the estate are settled and verified and the time has come to pay them, unless the decedent’s will provides otherwise and/or in the absence of sufficient cash or other liquid assets to satisfy the debts, payment is made from the proceeds of the sale of: 1) tangible personal property which has not been specifically devised, then 2) specifically devised tangible personal property, then 3) non-specifically devised real property, and finally 4) specifically devised real property.

Good Ohio legal counselors always advise their client to be wary. A common point, but often overlooked one, of avoiding probate via beneficiary designations or trust usage is privacy. If everything passes via will, anyone anywhere can look up the estate online and see what is going on. A little information in the wrong hands can do a lot of damage. For example, a recent client came into a piece of property of the east side of Cleveland. Naturally, the previous owner failed to property taxes for many years. Lo a behold a nice company called the client and offered to negotiate, settle, then pay off the back taxes, for a nominal fee of course. Client, being uninformed, agreed on the spot and gave out his credit card information. The estate had been closed for quite some time, way past the six month creditor claim period, and now the client has new problems to deal with. All this could have been avoided with a quick 30-second phone call with their Cleveland estate planning attorney, don’t make the same mistake they did.

Helping You and Your Loved Ones Plan for the Future

Daniel A Baron - Estate Planning Lawyer

What Is An Irrevocable Trust?

Cleveland, Ohio estate planning lawyer, Daniel A. Baron, offers the following information as to whether or not you should have an Irrevocable Trust as part of your comprehensive estate planning.

An Irrevocable Trust, by design cannot be modified in any fashion or terminated without the express written consent of the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Once the trust is created it stands AS IS and cannot be changed at all, notwithstanding a few exceptions.

  • Perhaps a beneficiary needs to be changed
  • Perhaps a financial institution may need clarification of a Trustees Identity
  • The beneficiary may need to terminate the trust early due to an immediate need for a large expense

Why would there exist a need for an Irrevocable Trust?

  • It protects your property held in Trust against creditors
  • It minimizes your estate tax liability
  • If you are looking to qualify for government assistance programs, i.e., Medicaid or Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits

There are three parties to a Trust:

First Party: The “Grantor” or “Settlor” who is the person or persons who establishes the trust. Keep in mind that when the Irrevocable Trust is established the “grantor” or “settlor” relinquishes all control of the assets held within the trust.

Second Party: The Trustee who are appointed by the “Grantor” or “Settlor” whose responsibilities include overseeing the assets, investments, etc., and to pay any expenses which benefits to beneficiary

Third Party:   The Beneficiary whose job it is, is to sit back relax and benefit from the income generated by the investments within the trust.

Let’s start the conversation to see if an Irrevocable Trust is the right tax planning strategy for you as part of your Comprehensive Estate Planning. For more information on reviewing your goals for your Comprehensive Estate Planning, contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law today at 216-573-3723.

Helping You and Your Loved Ones Plan for the Future

 

Daniel A Baron Estate Planning lawyer

What Is A Revocable Trust?

Cleveland, Ohio estate planning lawyer, Daniel A. Baron, offers the following information as to whether or not you should have a Revocable Trust as part of your comprehensive estate planning.

When you decide it is time to do your estate planning, one decision to make is: Do I Need A Trust? If the answer is yes, then the next question is whether or not a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust is the right tool to use in your Comprehensive Estate Planning.  Although both of these are created to avoid probate, there are differences between the two.

A Revocable Trust means you can change things at any time such as;

  • Beneficiaries
  • Add items of value to the trust or remove items from the trust and so on.
  • Changing Trustees
  • Change what funds the trust
  • Eliminate the trust
  • Change amounts to be funded
  • Add Trustees

With a Revocable Trust – the Grantor or Settlor creates the trust AND can also act as the Trustee AND can be named as the beneficiary.

An Irrevocable Trust means no changes can be made (with a few exceptions) once the trust is created.

An Irrevocable Trust has three parties to the Trust; the Grantor or Settlor, the Trustee(s), and the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

  1. The Grantor or Settlor is the person who funds or establishes the Trust
  2. The Trustee is the person who oversees the trust, and
  3. The beneficiary reaps the rewards of the income generated by the investments of the trust. Although the Grantor / Settlor and the beneficiary can be the same, they cannot act as the Trustee

With a Revocable Trust you must remember if you are looking to keep investments, bank accounts, property, and any other such asset as part of the trust, the accounts must be set up in the trusts name and property must be titled to the trust.  Failure to do this while you are still living means that the assets still in your personal name at the time of your death will be subject to probate and a larger amount of estate taxes.

If you are having difficulty determining whether your situation calls for a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust, seek the advice of an experienced Estate Planning Lawyer. For more information on reviewing your goals for your Comprehensive Estate Planning, contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law today at 216-573-3723.

Helping You and Your Loved Ones Plan for the Future

Daniel A Baron - Baron Law Cleveland

Dying Without A Will – A Mess for Your Family To Clean-up

Baron Law LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, offers information for you to reflect upon while you are setting out looking for an estate planning attorney to help protect as much of your assets as you can. For more comprehensive information contact Baron Law Cleveland to draft your comprehensive estate plan to endeavor to keep more of your assets for your heirs and not hand them over to the government by way of taxes.

No one likes it think about death, and even less people actively prepare for its inevitable occurrence. With everything that makes up life, job, family, recreation, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what we need to do or want to do, let alone do what we despise. Thinking about death and how life will continue on regardless of whether we are here or not isn’t a fun concept people like to dwell on. Estate planning, or lack thereof, has tremendous consequences for surviving friends and family. A proper estate plan can mean the kids get to go college and the surviving spouse gets to stay in the house and doesn’t have to get a second job. No estate plan means the martial home gets sold to pay off debts and necessities or the surviving kids blow through an investment portfolio shrewdly managed for 25 years in 6 months. A local Cleveland estate planning attorney can create a customized estate plan with supporting documents to ensure that your friends and family are in the best position when your gone and avoid familial infighting and asset waste.  

Apart from the absolute chaos and/or squandering of a lifetime of assets which may result from a lack of estate planning, what are the practical consequences of not having a will?  When a decedent does not have a valid will in existence at the time of death, a decedent is deemed to have died intestate and Ohio intestacy laws govern how estate assets are managed and distributed. Ohio intestacy laws may be avoided altogether with proper estate planning. It is important, however, to be familiar with these laws because they may apply for a variety of reasons in a variety of situations. Sometimes intestacy laws will control even if a valid will is subject to probate administration. Conversely, sometimes Ohio intestacy laws may not apply even if a decedent died intestate. As such, since the controlling law for dying without a will can be flexible, an estate planning and/or probate lawyer is highly recommended.  

One example where intestacy laws are inapplicable even if decedent died without a valid will is where the estate assets in question would not have been part of the decedent’s probate estate if the decedent had a will. An example of this situation is property that is owned jointly with right of survivorship. This type of ownership will pass to the surviving joint owner by operation of law irrespective to the terms of the decedent’s will or intestacy statutes. The same is true for bank accounts or other assets with valid payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) designations. Property that the decedent transferred to a trust during life will not typically become part of the decedent’s probate or intestate estate.   

The most common situation where intestate law applies is when a will is declared invalid by a probate court because it was not executed in accordance with the requirements under Ohio law. The same holds true if a will is set aside for other reasons, such as fraud in the execution. Further, even if a decedent’s will is found valid and is not set aside, there can be many circumstances where intestacy laws still apply. One such circumstance is that a will fails to dispose of all of the decedent’s property because it does not have a residuary clause. This outsight is becoming more common with the use of services like Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom. Ensuring that estate planning documents are properly executed, drafted, and filed is a major reason why estate planning attorneys are employed and retained. Doing it yourself may be cheaper in the short-term, but when it counts the most, self-drafted estate document all too often fail to make the grade.  

So, apart from not knowing whether intestacy laws will apply or not, what’s the big deal dying intestate?  

In a nutshell, dying intestate can have serious consequences for surviving friends and family and, most importantly, can affect the amount of  estate money and assets available, who those assets go to, and when those assets are distributed. First off, dying intestate means a decedent has very little, if any, direct control over who gets what and when. That is decided per the laws of intestacy. So, if you have two children, one is rich and doesn’t need any more money and the other has addiction issues and can’t be trusted, but you have a niece who just got accepted to Harvard but can’t afford it, too bad, you can’t help out your niece if you die intestate. Further, dying intestate means the court has to administrate the estate, which takse a lot longer than direct bequests in a will. Instead of potentially almost instantaneous transfer of money and assets, you likely have to wait at least six months to distribute estate assets. During this time, surviving friends and family are angry they haven’t gotten their share, the legal fees are running for the attorney, the fees are running for the estate administrator, and you’re paying taxes and upkeep on any estate assets that require such.  

Furthermore, subjecting an estate to intestate administration means creditors and litigants have almost free reign to bring claims against intestate assets. If an estate is properly planned and organized, there are ways to protect most if not all of an estate’s assets from these outside threats. As previously mentioned before, an intestate estate requires an administrator. This person is appointed by the probate court, it may be a family member, it may not be. Hopefully, they will be competent, responsible, and honest, but if an estate fiduciary isn’t proactively appointed, who know who’ll be appointed. Ohio law subjects estate fiduciaries to steep penalties for incompetence and misconduct, there is a reason for this. History is rife with examples of fiduciaries wasting or absconding with estate assets. After you’ve spent a lifetime working, saving, and building, why put it all in the hands of a strange or irresponsible or inexperienced family member. This is why Ohio estate attorneys exist, to help you protect a lifetime of labor and give to the people you love.  

Choosing to die intestate certainly is one way to do it but it is hardly the best way. Spending a little time to sit down with a probate attorney or estate planner will ensure that you’re proactively thinking about the future and putting your friends and family in the best possible situations and avoiding needless stress, confusion, and time waste. A last will and testament is the “core” of any estate plan. If you don’t have anything else, you must have a will. Simply put, its foolish not to even take this basic step.  

You don’t have to be rich to protect what you’ve spent a lifetime trying to build. To find out whether a trust is right for your family, take the one-minute questionnaire at www.DoIneedaTrust.com. There are a number of different trusts available and the choices are infinite. With every scenario, careful consideration of every trust planning strategy should be considered for the maximum asset protection and tax savings. For more information, you can contact Mike Benjamin of Baron Law LLC at 216-573-3723. Baron Law LLC is a Cleveland, Ohio area law firm focusing on estate planning and elder law. Mike can also be reached at mike@baronlawcleveland.com 

 Helping You And Your Loved Ones Plan For The Future

About the author: Mike E. Benjamin, Esq.  

Mike is a contracted attorney at Baron Law LLC who specializes in civil litigation, estate planning, and probate law. He is a member of the Westshore Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association for the Northern District of Ohio. He can be reached at mike@baronlawcleveland.com.   

Disclaimer:

The information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The author nor Baron Law LLC cannot and does not guarantee that such information is accurate, complete, or timely. Laws of a particular state or laws that may be applicable in a given situation may impact the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of the preceding information. Further, federal and state laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. Changes in such laws often have material impact on estate planning and tax forecasts. As such, the author and Baron Law LLC make no warranties regarding the herein information or any results arising from its use. Furthermore, the author and Baron Law LLC disclaim any liability arising out of your use of, or any financial position taken in reliance on, such information. As always consult an attorney regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

 

Probate Lawyer Baron Law LLC

Probate – What Is It?

Cleveland, Ohio, estate planning law firm, Baron Law LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, offers information for you to reflect upon while you are setting out looking for an estate planning attorney to help protect as much of your assets as you can.   For more comprehensive information contact Baron Law Cleveland to draft your comprehensive estate plan to endeavor […]

Estate Planning Lawyer Baron Law Cleveland

Executor’s Duties – When Should Debts Be Paid?

Cleveland, Ohio, estate planning law firm, Baron Law LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, offers the following information on what your duties are as an executor of an estates and  when you need to pay all debts of the estate.   Contact Baron Law Cleveland to answer all your questions on what your duties are and to help guide your through […]

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I’ve Been Named As The Executor In A Will, Now What?

Cleveland, Ohio, estate planning law firm, Baron Law LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, offers the following information on what your duties are as an executor of an estate.  Contact Baron Law Cleveland to answer all your questions on what your duties are and to help guide your through the  upcoming events which are about to occur and how to handle any issues which may arise.

Unfortunately, a close friend or family member has passed and in their will you were appointed as executor of their estate. At the time the will was drafted maybe you gave little or a lot of thought into what being named executor actually entails. Often, it’s the former, most people have little experience administrating an estate and little reason to overthink being named an executor. So, when the time comes to handle the responsibilities of an executor, it can be a confusing and overwhelming process.

An appointment to executor is a serious affair, but an understanding of the process and expectations of an executor can limit the stress of an already stressful situation. Since most people have little experience with wills, estates, or probate, everyone finds themselves asking the same questions when they remember they’re an executor. Note, this article is only a minor overview and contacting a Cleveland estate planning attorney in event of death or a potential or actual appointment as executor is always recommended. An experienced Ohio estate planning attorney can give you personalized guidance and recommendations to take as much of the burden off you as possible.

 

What is an executor?

Bluntly, an executor is the person, or persons, named in a will to administrate the estate after death. The executor is the individual responsible for seeing that the final wishes of the decedent, as denoted in the will, are carried out. The appointment of an executor is a logical, and necessary, consequence for the existence of last will and testaments. At the end of the day, wills are only pieces of paper. So, without someone loyal, trustworthy, and actually willing to carry out the terms of a will, a will would be a paper tiger and estate assets wouldn’t be distributed nor posthumous debts and obligations handled. So, if you’ve been named as an executor, congratulations, you’re likely the most responsible and well-adjusted of the decedent’s friends and family.

 

How is an executor appointed?

Executors are formally appointed as such by explicit provision in a last will and testament. Hopefully, the will holder informs the named individual of their selection of executor, but this is not a strict requirement, just courtesy and commonsense.

Just being named as executor in a will, however, is not sufficient to confer the job. When the will is probated, the following statutory requirements are observed by the court when selecting an executor:

  1. The named individual must be competent to serve as executor.
  2. The named individual must be at least 18 years old
  3. The named individual must be bonded

Implicit within the bond requirement is that the named executor has good credit and no criminal record, since failure of either would likely make it next to impossible in convincing an insurance company to take the increased risk and issue an executor bond. The cost of the bond itself is paid from estate assets. Note, however, a will has the discretion to waive the bond requirement if the decedent has faith that the named executor is trustworthy and doesn’t represent a risk of pillaging or mismanaging estate assets.

As with many things within the legal system, the final approval for executor appointment lies with the probate court. So, regardless of whether the formal requirements are met, a probate court may still reject an executor election and appoint a third-party administrator if a potential executor is perceived as unfit to serve. Since, a major purpose of drafting a will is to control who distributes estate assets, naming an Ohio estate attorney as a primary or successor executor is advisable as a probate court would have little reason to protest such an appointment.

Why is an executor needed?

The duties of an executor aren’t easy, however, there is satisfaction knowing that you did right by your friend or family. The duties of an executor are specific to each particular estate, however, there is a “core” group of duties and tasks each executor must fulfill. Every executor must:

  1. File the will and probate petition in probate court where decedent was domiciled at time of death and petition the court for executor appointment.
  2. Take possession, catalogue, and value all estate property within 3 months of filing the will for probate.
  3. Maintain and protect estate assets for the duration of the probate proceedings.
  4. Directly notify creditors, debtors, financial institutions, utilities, and government agencies of decedent’s death.
  5. Publish notices of decedent’s death, usually a newspaper obituary, which serves as notice and starts the clock running on the statute of limitations for creditor claims on the estate.
  6. Pay or satisfy any outstanding debts or obligations of decedent.
  7. Represent decedent during probate court proceedings.
  8. Locate heirs and named beneficiaries and distribute respective bequests at the appropriate time.

These duties occur during the probate process, which is a major reason why probate takes many months to complete. Because probate is such a time-intensive and laborious process, many people chose trust-based estate plans that avoid probate entirely. With trusts, estate assets can be distributed right away, no executor is needed, and many mornings, which otherwise would be spent in probate court, are freed for personal enjoyment. Contact an Ohio trust attorney to see if avoiding probate through the use of trusts is right for you and your family.

What if some dies without a will so that there isn’t an executor?

If someone dies without a will, i.e. intestate, the probate court will appoint an administrator for the estate. The formal requirements for an administrator are the same as an executor except administrators must be also an Ohio resident while executors can be anyone. The duties administrators perform are largely the same as executors.

Granted, the final result of the probate process is the same regardless of whether an estate is administrated by an executor or appointed administrator, however, who knows who the court ultimately will appoint. As such, it is always preferable to elect an executor an ensure a responsible and diligent friend or family member will manage your estate and see that final wishes are followed. Those living without a will or trust are playing with fire and could end up seeing significant portions of lifetime earnings or assets going to irresponsible family members or eaten by taxes.

If I’ve been named as an executor, do I have to be one?

No, there is no legal requirement to take on the responsibilities of executor, however, resigning will likely put the surviving family in a serious bind and force a probate court to appoint an administrator. An executor resignation, prior to or during probate proceedings, must follow established procedures and use particular legal forms specific to each probate jurisdiction. Consulting an estate attorney is the best way to find out what these procedures are and if resigning is necessary in the circumstances.

Executor appointment is not a job to underestimate. Often, the labor and time spent in fulfilling the duties go underappreciated, but it is critical to wrapping up decedent’s life and giving closure to friends and family. Though sometimes thankless, executors are entitled to compensation in Ohio. Namely, if executor sells real estate or personal property, they are entitled to 4% of the first $100,000, 3% of the next $300,000, and 2% of any remaining value. Further, 1% may be charged for any non-probate assets. Executor fees and the associated tax consequences are potentially complex issues, as such, contacting a Cleveland estate attorney is sensible.

For more information, you can contact Mike Benjamin of Baron Law LLC at 216-573-3723. Baron Law LLC is a Cleveland, Ohio area law firm focusing on estate planning and elder law. Mike can also be reached at mike@baronlawcleveland.com.

 

Helping You and Your Loved Ones Plan for the Future.

 

About the author: Mike E. Benjamin, Esq.

Mike is a contracted attorney at Baron Law LLC who specializes in civil litigation, estate planning, and probate law. He is a member of the Westshore Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association for the Northern District of Ohio. He can be reached at mike@baronlawcleveland.com.

Disclaimer:
The information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The author nor Baron Law LLC cannot and does not guarantee that such information is accurate, complete, or timely. Laws of a particular state or laws that may be applicable in a given situation may impact the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of the preceding information. Further, federal and state laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. Changes in such laws often have material impact on estate planning and tax forecasts. As such, the author and Baron Law LLC make no warranties regarding the herein information or any results arising from its use. Furthermore, the author and Baron Law LLC disclaim any liability arising out of your use of, or any financial position taken in reliance on, such information. As always consult an attorney regarding your specific legal or tax situation.
“He who is always his own counselor will often have a fool for his client.” Old English Proverb est. circa

 

Estate Planning Lawyer - Daniel A Baron

QPRT – Can I Benefit From One?

Cleveland, Ohio, estate planning lawyer, Daniel A. Baron, Ohio, offers the following information on whether a Qualified Personal Residence Trust should be part of your comprehensive estate planning.

For wealthier families, a great tool to manage your future tax savings would be to transfer the liability of owning a property for which you may end up paying estate taxes on, to a Qualified Personal Residence Trust, or QPRT.

In 2017 the gift exemption was set at $5.49 million, therefore, creating a QPRT permits you to make better use of this exemption. This allows anyone with a substantial estate and the likelihood of facing future transfer taxes, the opportunity to place a residence, be it a primary home, a secondary home, lake, mountain, or ocean side getaway, in a QPRT.  Transferring of this property is a lifetime transfer of residence in exchange for a rent free use of the home for the entire term of the trust.  Should the grantor survive the term of the trust, the property can either remain in the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries or transfer outright to the beneficiaries.  Either way, successfully establishing a QPRT reduces the gift tax or estate tax cost.

You must keep in mind that this a federal tax exemption and some states may still impose a tax on the value of the property, but it still remains a great tool to maximize your estate taxes upon your passing.

Frequently asked Questions:

  • When should I utilize a QPRT
  • What requirements need to be met to qualify a property for the QPRT tax reduction
  • Does a mortgage impact the QPRT transfer
  • Are there any tax consequences connected with a QPRT

To see whether or not a Qualified Personal Residence Trust is the right estate tax savings plan for you, contact an experienced Estate Planning lawyer. Contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law today at 216-573-3723 to answer any questions you may have on a QPRT or any other trust.  We welcome the opportunity to work with you recommending the best solution for your needs.

Helping You and Your Loved Ones Plan for the Future

Estate Planning Lawyer - Cleveland Ohio - Baron Law LLC

Do I need a Trust?

Exploring whether you need a trust may be answered below visiting this questionnaire: DoIneedaTrust.com.   In addition, you may find the following information written by Cleveland, Ohio estate planning lawyer Daniel A. Baron useful.

Even if your name isn’t Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, it does not necessarily mean that the need for you to establish a trust does not exist. If your Net Worth is greater than $100,000* and you have very specific desires as to how you would like to disperse your assets after you pass away, you should consider creating a trust.  Although you would have a will in place as well, by establishing a trust you will maximize your tax benefits.  In addition this will also protect your assets from creditors and ensure that your heirs receive the items you would like to pass onto them.  This not only pertains to liquid assets such as cash and your investments but property as well.

There are a number of different trusts available to you to create which can protect your assets and minimize your estate taxes at the end. Each of us has our own needs when it comes to protecting our assets for the next generation and to make sure that your wishes are followed after your passing.

Some of the different types of trusts you may want to discuss to see what best suits your needs:

  • Revocable
  • Irrevocable
  • Credit Shelter / A-B Trust
  • Generation Skipping
  • QPRT
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
  • Children’s Trust
  • Medicaid Trust
  • Life Estate Trust
  • Medicaid Asset Protection Trust
  • Intentional Defective Grantor Trust

To see what trust is best suited for you, contact an Estate Planning Lawyer. These are some of the topics you should be prepared to discuss:

  • Do your investments name a beneficiary or do they have a POD (payable on death) or a TOD (transfer upon death) form attached to them?
  • Do you have a child with special need that you need to have cared for after your passing?
  • Do you own any real estate out of state?
  • Do you have a unique plan of how you would like your estate divided?

*To determine your Net Worth take the sum of your total assets (cash, property, investments, etc.) and subtract your total liabilities (mortgage balance, credit card debt, etc.). Plain and simple take what is OWNED and subtract what is OWED.

To get answers to your questions as to what type of trust is best suited for your specific needs you should speak with an experienced Estate Planning lawyer. Contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law today at 216-573-3723 to answer any questions you may have on creating your trust.  We welcome the opportunity to work with you and recommending the best solution for your estate planning needs.

Helping You and Your Loved Ones Plan for the Future