What are the most common estate planning documents?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Estate Planning & Probate |

It is never too soon to protect your assets and plan your legacy. Whether you’re single or married with children, in your 30s or entering your golden years, having an organized, solid plan in place brings peace of mind, and can help your loved ones avoid legal complications when you have passed on from this world. The Ohio estate planning process is a helpful tool to accomplish these goals.

Every state has its own estate planning laws. In all states, it is a customizable process that enables estate owners to execute plans that fit their unique needs and goals. You might choose to incorporate certain documents into your estate plan that someone else chooses to omit in theirs. Before initiating the process, it’s a good idea to review all the options to determine which documents you will use.

These estate planning documents are beneficial in many ways

The following list shows the most common types of documents that Ohio residents and others include in their estate plans:

  • Last will and testament
  • Advance directive (i.e., a living will)
  • Revocable trust
  • Irrevocable trust
  • Powers of attorney

You may include one or several or all these documents in your estate plan. You can research each one to determine if it is relevant to your needs and estate planning goals.

Additional planning issues to keep in mind

As mentioned earlier, you can create an estate plan that aligns with your goals and preferences. Always consider these issues ahead of time, in case you want to work them into your plan:

  • Life insurance policies
  • Retirement benefits
  • Business succession
  • Deeds to large assets like vehicles or real estate

After you finalize your estate plan, you’ll want to conduct periodic reviews to check whether any changes or updates are necessary.

Make sure they will carry out your instructions

A last will and testament, as well as a trust, ensure that beneficiaries of your choosing will inherit your assets. Specific documents, like an advance directive, enable you to list your preferences and instructions regarding important issues like end-of-life care. You can add a power of attorney to an advance directive, as well, to grant someone you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf, if you become incapacitated.

If you would like to begin the Ohio estate planning process but are not sure which documents best fit your needs, you can meet with someone who knows how to navigate the system and can recommend strategies for creating a solid plan.