If you ask someone to tell you the first thing that comes to mind when they hear “estate planning document,” the odds are pretty good that they will say “a will.” There’s a good reason for that. A will is not only the most well-known estate planning tool; it is also the cornerstone of any comprehensive estate plan. Standing alone or, more beneficially, in conjunction with other estate planning vehicles like a trust, a well-crafted will can ensure that your wishes are followed after you pass away and that your family is protected.
Trusted Partners in Estate Planning
The Elyria estate planning attorneys at King & Chavez understand the critical importance of a sound, personally tailored will. With over 40 years of combined experience, our attorneys provide the clear guidance and careful will drafting that bring our clients peace of mind and the satisfaction the comes from knowing they have taken care of their loved ones.
We also know that will preparation can involve some emotional and difficult discussions. No one likes to contemplate his or her own death, nor do parents want to think about what will happen to their children if tragedy befalls them unexpectedly.
That is why we pride ourselves on making our clients comfortable throughout the process. By walking them through all of the issues, explaining options in plain English, and being available and accessible whenever they have questions or concerns, we are true partners with our clients during what is a deeply personal endeavor.
Why You Should Have a Will
You don’t have to prepare a will. But if you make that choice, you are essentially giving a total stranger – a probate court judge – the right to decide who receives your assets and who will be responsible for the care of your children after you die. If you don’t have a will, your loved ones won’t know what your wishes were and will be largely powerless to act. Even worse, your failure to set forth your intent can lead to costly and contentious disputes between family members who think they know what you wanted to happen.
Leaving such important matters to a judge and Ohio’s laws of intestate succession is rarely a wise decision and can often lead to unintended results that don’t comport with your goals. You can prevent this situation with a properly drafted will.
With a will, you can specifically direct how your property and assets are to be distributed upon your death. You can name a trusted family member or another individual as the guardian of your children and the personal representative of your estate. Just as important, a will makes the trauma of your loss easier for your loved ones while they work through the emotional, practical, and financial challenges that follow.
Filling in the Blanks Won’t Fulfill Your Goals
We understand that the wide availability of generic, fill-in-the-blank will forms on the internet can make it tempting to try to do some “DIY” estate planning instead of working with an experienced estate planning attorney. But before you download a document, be aware that you are running a significant risk that it won’t be worth the paper on which you print it. In fact, an insufficient and defective online will can actually make things a whole lot worse for your family than if you had no will at all.
An online will form may not be appropriate for your situation or goals, may not satisfy the requirements of Ohio law, and can leave many critical issues unaddressed. You wouldn’t take chances with your family’s future while you’re here; don’t do so when you pass away.
Call King & Chavez Today to Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs and Goals
At King & Chavez, we welcome the opportunity to meet you and learn more about your estate planning needs and goals. Together, we can prepare a will and a comprehensive estate plan that provides you and your family with clarity, security, and peace of mind. Please call us at 440-365-0386 or contact us online today.