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Basic Asset Protection Tools: Wills And Trusts

Protecting your assets and designating who you wish to inherit your estate is one of the major functions of an estate plan. Backed by more than 25 years of experience, the estate planning attorneys at Phillips & Mille Co., L.P.A., can help you draft a will or create a trust to further your long-term needs and goals.

Designating Assets And Clarifying Your Last Wishes

A will is often considered the cornerstone of an estate plan because it allows you to specify your last wishes regarding the distribution of your estate. If you do not have a valid will, the court makes these decisions on your behalf in accordance with Ohio’s intestate laws, which may conflict with your wishes.

You can use your will to:

  • Designate a guardian for minor children
  • Name an executor of your estate
  • Distribute property to heirs

When drafting a will, you must follow legal formalities to ensure validity and prevent a will contest during probate. Keep in mind, a will has no legal authority until death, which is why it should be one of several parts of an estate plan.

Managing Assets With A Trust

A trust can be used to hold and manage assets for a person or entity during their lifetime or after death. When creating a trust, the grantor transfers the assets to a trustee, who then holds onto and manages the assets for the named beneficiaries. Assets placed in a trust do not need to pass through probate, which keeps the details of your estate out of public record. A trust can also help you shield assets for Medicaid planning.

Your choice of trust will affect how the assets within the trust are managed, taxed and protected. Consulting with a lawyer can help you choose the right one for your goals. Common types of trusts include:

  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Charitable trusts
  • Special needs trusts

Formalize Your Wishes With Our Help

Discuss your trust needs and the requirements for a will with an attorney by scheduling a consultation at one of our conveniently located offices throughout the Cleveland area. Arrange yours by completing our contact form or by calling 440-243-2800 today.