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Parma Estate Planning And Probate Blog

Getting ready for divorce: Handling finances

In 2015, statistics showed that 3.4 percent of married Americans went through a divorce. Many of them went through the divorces without considering how their situation would impact their finances.

Even in cases where divorce is amicable, finances can play a role in causing trouble. Here's what you can do to help prevent financial trouble.

Here's what you shouldn't include in your will

If you're making a will, you may believe that it can cover everything you want to do when you pass away. The reality is that there are some things you should not include in your will, because it won't govern your property or wishes accurately.

The trouble is that some items have their own processes for distributing them to your heirs or beneficiaries. For example, if you have life insurance, it likely works independently of your will. Even if you include it in the will, any discrepancies will likely result in the insurance coverage's instructions kicking in instead of using your will's directions. If someone has a problem with that, then they may have to go to court over the discrepancy.

What can you accomplish with an irrevocable living trust?

If you, like so many others across Ohio, have worked hard for years to build up your wealth and assets, you may be starting to think about how you might best preserve your wealth for your children or other loved ones. While you probably have numerous options at your disposal, one thing you may want to consider doing is creating an irrevocable living trust.

While, as its name implies, you cannot alter an irrevocable living trust once you create it, there are many benefits that come with establishing this type of fiduciary arrangement. It can also help you leave more of your wealth behind for your loved ones after your passing than you may be able to through a traditional will. More specifically, creating an irrevocable living trust typically allows you to:

How do you divide your property if you're not married?

Unmarried couples may struggle if they decide to separate for a few reasons. To start with, they're not protected by the same laws as married couples. This can mean that assets won't be considered shared property and that it's more likely that the pair will have to determine how to separate their property between themselves. In the case that there are shared assets, like credit cards in both people's names or shared bank accounts, are normally separated equally or equitably based on who made deposits, ran charges and other factors.

Ohio's laws do address nonmarital household property division. Ohio doesn't give you a right to go to trial to seek the equal or equitable distribution of your property, though. Ohio does not recognize a common-law marriage, either, which means that you'll be unable to fall back on the laws that could have protected you in a long-term, but unmarried, relationship. However, if you lived together in another state and met that state's requirements for a common-law marriage, then the Ohio courts may recognize your common-law marriage so long as you've become a resident of the state and meet the current residency requirements.

How does a durable power of attorney work in Ohio?

If you're ready to start planning for your estate to grow and benefit your children, now is a great time to do so. Ohio has a number of estate planning laws and regulations that can benefit you given the chance.

Take, for example, the estate planning laws that regulate powers of attorney (POA). Your durable power of attorney is a person who can make decisions about your health and medical care when you can't do so yourself. The laws make sure that the durable power of attorney has only the right to make decisions on treatments, interventions and measures that serve to prolong your life. This wouldn't override your choice of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, but it would make sure the person could "do no harm" to you willingly by making bad medical decisions on your behalf.

How many copies of your will should you have?

It is incredibly important for your loved ones to be able to locate your will after your death. This becomes tricky because ideally, you should update your will once a year or so. People's lives change, and you may come into more money or have another child, which impacts how you want to divide your assets upon death. 

Every time you want to update your estate planning documents, you should go through the proper channels. Handwriting changes you want to make in the margins of the papers will not hold up in court. You should see an attorney every time you want to change your will, and you should create at least three copies to store in various locations. 

4 estate planning documents to revisit after a divorce

If you are thinking about getting a divorce or are already starting the process, you need to review your estate plans. Ending your marriage is a significant life change, which means you likely need to make some changes to your estate plans so it reflects your new desires. 

You probably do not want your ex to inherit your estate or be in charge of administering it if you pass away. Here are some essential documents you must review if you are splitting up.

Getting a divorce? Collect these documents, now

The end of a marriage is often not something people see coming. They may know that things are rocky, but the idea of being divorced still may not cross their minds. When a spouse does finally ask for a divorce, it's heartbreaking and frustrating. Some people will want to try to work out the problems in the marriage, while others will prefer to walk away.

Divorce is hard on everyone involved. Whether you're the one seeking the divorce or the spouse on the receiving end of the request, it's an emotionally traumatic time in your life. Although you're going to be emotional, it's this time when you need to begin to take care of yourself and look into collecting documents that will help you get all you need following the end of your marriage.

6 things you should include in your estate plan

Every estate plan has a number of things it needs to make sure it is comprehensive in nature. A good, comprehensive estate plan will have at least six different sections.

These are six sections to include in yours. If you have these, you'll be ready in the event of the unexpected.

Why you need to plan your estate at every life stage

People often associate estate planning with the end of one's life. Perhaps this is why a mere 36 percent of Americans have established a will. Rather than wait until you are elderly, though, it is a good idea to start planning your estate as soon as possible. You have different needs at every stage of your life, and your estate plan should reflect this. Estate planning is a continual process, not a one-time thing.

Consider the following reasons for establishing and updating your estate plan throughout every stage of your life. No matter what kind of property you have or what your expectations for the future might be, establishing your estate plan is one of the best investments you can make in your future. 

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