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Estate planning is an important step in taking control of your life by preparing for your future. It is always the right time to begin protecting your assets, providing for a comfortable retirement, preparing to handle unexpected adversity, and ensuring that your loved ones will be secure when you pass away. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, so it is wise to discuss contingencies and options with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney now. If you reside in Ohio or the surrounding area, Shaw & Nelson, PLLC is the place to call.

What Sets Shaw & Nelson Apart From Other Estate Planning Attorneys

We have excellent credentials and well-honed legal skills to provide you with first-rate estate planning services. We are adept at drafting precisely worded documents, clarifying legal concepts, and translating legal jargon into plain language. We will always keep you well-informed so you can make decisions most beneficial to you and your family.

Our lead attorneys, Aaron Lee Shaw, and Natalie Nelson, are efficient and effective. You can depend on us to take your needs, goals, and concerns seriously and to always treat you with empathy and respect. When you come to Shaw & Nelson, you will find the legal proficiency you require and the personal attention you deserve.  

The Basics of Estate Planning

We will assist you in completing the following essential tasks of estate planning:

  1. Drafting a will to designate your executor (personal representative), name your beneficiaries and the assets they will receive, and appoint a guardian for your minor children in case you and their other parent predecease them.
  2. Handling probate matters (probate is the process through which a will is validated), or preparing to avoid probate because it can be costly and delay the settling of your estate. Though not always necessary, this task can be extremely helpful to those with high-net-worth or otherwise complicated estates.
  3. Create one or more trusts to protect your assets from excessive taxation, creditors, divorcing spouses, and lawsuits, and to maintain your eligibility for government benefits, e.g. Medicaid or SSD (Social Security Disability).

Trusts Can Serve Many and Varied Purposes in Estate Planning

There are two categories of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. As their names clearly state, only one of these categories (with only rare exceptions) can be altered during the trustor’s lifetime.

Revocable trusts, also known as “living trusts,” are primarily used to avoid the costs and delays of probate by taking assets out of the legal ownership of the trustor so that they are no longer part of the estate. Revocable trusts also preserve the trustor’s privacy since, unlike wills, they are not public documents. 

Irrevocable trusts, in contrast, are designed to protect your assets from estate taxes from being used to pay lawsuit settlements and creditors and to maintain your eligibility (or the eligibility of one of your beneficiaries) for government benefits. Once again, these protections are derived from the fact that you no longer legally own the assets in the trust. 

Varied Irrevocable Trusts for Specific Purposes

Shaw & Nelson serves a broad range of diverse clients with wide-ranging needs. Fortunately, there are many types of trusts to meet their particular needs which we can customize to meet their personal preferences. Examples include:

  • Special needs trusts provide supplemental resources to your special needs child or other disabled loved one while protecting their right to receive government benefits.
  • Spendthrift trusts provide adult beneficiaries who are irresponsible with money from their worst instincts by having a trustee manage and allot funds to them as needed. These trusts are invaluable for beneficiaries who may have a problem with substance abuse, gambling, or some kinds of psychiatric disorders.
  • Trusts for minors preserve assets until the minor reaches the age of maturity.
  • Pet trusts provide for the care of beloved pets whose owners predecease them.

Other trusts designed for particular purposes include:

  • IRA trusts
  • Gift trusts
  • Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trusts
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT)
  • Charitable trusts
  • Marital trusts
  • Generation-skipping trusts

Once our estate planning lawyers become familiar with your unique situation, we will be able to recommend the proper wills or trusts most suitable to meet your individual needs.

Planning for Unexpected Events

It can be painful to think about the negative impact of incapacity on your own life and on the lives of those you hold dear. Nevertheless, realistic plans for the future must take such possibilities into account. Remember, we will also be planning for many pleasant aspects of your future, such as career advancement, a relaxing and/or exciting retirement, your children’s educations, the possibility of grandchildren, and a legacy of remarkable accomplishments.

We will help you make the necessary arrangements so that if circumstances demand it, everything is in place to get you cost-effective long-term nursing care, arrange for seamless business succession, childcare, and pet care, and make sure that your family will have easy access to the funds they need. 

To prepare for the future, legal documents must be drafted and executed ahead of time to cope with an unexpected injury, medical event, illness, or death. To this end, we will work with you to plan your estate so that if the worse happens:

  • Your financial/legal matters will be handled by the trusted party of your choice
  • Your closest family members will be allowed access to your physicians and medical data
  • You will receive only the end-of-life care you have requested 
  • Your business will be managed by individuals you have chosen
  • Your minor children will be tended by someone responsible and caring
  • Any vulnerable person in your family will be physically and financially protected

We will have a frank and open discussion with you so we understand your wishes as we draft any of the following documents that may be necessary in your case:

  • Power of Attorney
  • HIPAA Authorization
  • Health Care Proxy
  • Conservatorship
  • Guardianship
  • Business Succession Plan
  • Living Will (including possible organ donation)

Contact Our Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys Today

Estate planning with Shaw & Nelson will give you a sense of control and empowerment, as will our regular reviews of your estate plan to meet the joys and challenges of your changing circumstances. Contact us now to begin shaping your future.

The Law Office of Shaw & Nelson, PLLC helps clients all throughout Ohio with their estate planning needs. We work on all matters of estate planning and are here to help protect and preserve our clients and their family’s futures.