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Parma Estate Planning And Probate Blog

3 facts about choosing your Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is an important person designated by your estate plan. This person is someone who can care for you when you're unable to do so yourself, making legal (and sometimes health care) decisions for you.

There are some things you need to know about appointing a Power of Attorney, though. If you don't do so correctly, you could end up seeing the court appointing its own preferred POA to help you through your elder years.

The best places to keep your will

You always want to retain a physical copy of your last will and testament and not solely rely on digital files. While some places will tell you that it's fine to make a will online, it is usually better to create one with the guidance of an attorney. 

After making a will, you need to keep it in a safe place. You want to be certain you tell the executor of the will where you kept it so that he or she can locate it upon your passing. It is ideal to have multiple copies of your will and to keep each one in a secure location.

Understanding the 4 different powers of attorney

When hammering out your estate plan, one of the documents you should consider is a power of attorney. This document's purpose is to grant someone else control over your affairs if you become unable to make decisions or care for yourself either in the short or long term.

Understanding the subtle differences in the four different types of powers of attorney may help narrow down the best options for you.

Work together to make the best parenting plan for your child

When you're creating your first visitation plan, remember that it's likely to be changed. What you want and what the other parent wants may not be the same. However, having both of you draw up a plan is a good place to start. You can see where your plans overlap, and then you can discuss the days or times that you don't agree on.

Each parenting plan is different because there are no two families that are exactly alike. Your parenting plan will likely first reflect the situation that would be best for you and your child, but you will need to be flexible to make sure the final plan works for you, your ex-spouse and your child.

What items should not be in your will?

When you draft a will with your attorney, there are a few things you might think that you want to include. However, there are times when including your wishes isn't appropriate.

For example, most people think that a will is where funeral instructions should go. The truth is that your funeral instructions should not be in the will, because the settling of the estate won't happen until after the funeral. That would mean that any instructions you left couldn't be read until after the funeral. To avoid this, you can make a separate document that states what you want to have happen at the funeral. Talk to those around you about you want, too, so there are no surprises.

4 ways to fund a revocable living trust

There are numerous documents to consider when putting together your estate plan. While many people are aware of wills, more people in Ohio should consider the advantages of revocable living trusts. These trusts do not require probate, and they can help people better maintain their privacy. 

However, it is not enough to only sign a document stating you have a revocable living trust. You also need to fund the trust. There are several ways you can go about accomplishing this. 

Do stepparents have to pay child support on divorce?

During a divorce, most people know that their children require child support from one parent (in the majority of cases). What people don't often think about is how stepchildren are taken care of in that situation.

For example, if you are on your second marriage and have a child with a former spouse, your new spouse may agree to take on the financial responsibility of your child. If you go through a divorce, there may be a disagreement, though, on if the other parent should pay child support or if it's only the biological father or mother who will continue to pay. The situation becomes complicated, especially if the ex-stepparent wants to continue to be in the child's life.

Common estate planning mistakes to avoid

Naturally, the biggest mistake anyone can make when it comes to an estate plan is not having one at all. Surprisingly, 60 percent of American adults have made this error and have not written wills yet. 

When you do write a will and trust, you want to be certain you do not overlook a single aspect. One mistake can greatly compromise whether a court will abide by your wishes. Therefore, you need to avoid the following mistakes at all costs. 

A good custody plan considers your child's feelings

Many people don't believe that their children should have a say in custody arrangements. As adults, they think that they know best and that their children should go along with what they choose. However, this kind of thinking can shut down communication between you and your child.

In reality, it's better if you and your spouse (or ex-spouse), can sit down together to talk about the arrangements you're interested in creating. Then you should include your child (if they are of an appropriate age) in the discussion.

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