Probate & Wills
* Wills
* Probate
* How to Avoid Probate
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How to Avoid Probate, Minimize Estate Taxes
Estate planning allows you to decide to whom, when and how your assets are
distributed, while minimizing/avoiding estate taxes and attorney fees

Additionally, it allows you to plan for the support of your family and any disabled
children, as well as, plan for any charitable contributions

The type of estate plan depends upon many factors, the value of your estate, your
personal estate planning goals and objectives and privacy concerns.

Assets are transferred primarily in three manners;
Contractual Provisions- You can place a “Transfer of Death” or “Payable on
Death” provisions on bank accounts, investment accounts, real property and motor
vehicles.

Statutory Provisions- Specific statutes of the ORC provide for the transfer of
property.

Last Will and Testament- Your last will and testament is your instructions
regarding distribution of your probate estate.

An estate taxable in the state of Ohio if it is valued at more than $338,333.
Currently, an estate is taxable at the federal level if it exceeds $3,500,000. If an
individual’s estate is taxable, planning should be utilized to minimize the estate
taxes.

Example of a simple estate plan:
A widow wishes to divide her $300,000 estate equally between her three children.
She names her children beneficiaries on her bank accounts, annuities, and IRA.
Additionally, she executes a Transfer on Death Deed to transfer her home to her
children at her death By taking just a few steps, she's transferred a majority of her
assets with a probate administration.

Example of a more complex tax  plan - A couple whose assets total $600,000
wish to avoid taxes and probate. The execute a Marital Deduction Credit Trust,
transfer their assets to the trust, and are able to avoid all estate taxes and probate
administration. If they did not execute the trust, they owe approximately $18,300
in Ohio estate taxes.

(Sue E. Gilkey Attorney at Law Community Press 9-16-09)
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