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This type of power of attorney can authorize an agent to perform myriad financial duties for you, including paying your bills, withdrawing and depositing money into your accounts, managing, buying, and selling real estate, and many others. The Tennessee Bar Association also advises appointing only one agent, because appointing two can create conflict and prevent the flow of your financial matters. The form is a duplicate of the durable version except for the fact that it does not remain in effect if you should become in a state of mind where you can no longer think for yourself. Like all power of attorney forms in Ohio, the document must be signed with at least two (2) witnesses present or a notary public for it to be legal for use. Your estateestateAll real and personal property of a decedent at the time of death, not including properties in joint ownership or assets that pass directly to a named beneficiary.
Since you wona€™t be here, you will need to leave a written document outlining your instructions regarding your estate. ProbateprobateThe legal process of validating a will and overseeing the orderly payment of debts and the distribution of assets. Besides the details of a€?who gets what,a€? a will should name an executorexecutorThe person named in a will who administers the payments of debts and the distribution of assets, as described in the will., the person or persons who will administer the payment of your debts and the distribution of your remaining assets, according to your wishes as expressed in your will. A stated dollar amount willstated dollar amount willA will leaving a specific monetary amount to each beneficiary. You may change or rewrite your will at any time, but you should definitely do so as your life circumstances change, especially with events such as marriage or divorce, the birth of a child, and the acquisition of significant assets, such as a house. It is possible that you will become mentally or physically disabled before you die and unable to direct management of your assets.
Along with granting power of attorney, your living will may include a health care proxy, requesting that medical personnel follow the instructions of a designated family member who expresses your wishes concerning your end-of-life treatment. A trusttrustA legal entity created to own and manage assets for the benefit of beneficiaries. Another way to avoid probate and estate taxes is to gift assets to your beneficiaries while you are alive. Most trusts, whether testamentary or living, revocable or irrevocable, are created to avoid either the probate process or estate taxes or both. Estate taxes diminish the value of your estate that will be distributed to your beneficiaries.
The federal estate tax is a€?a tax on your right to transfer property at your death.a€?[46] In 2009, you are required to file an estate tax return if the taxable estate is valued at $3,500,000 or more.
While estate taxes tax your assets in your estate, inheritance taxes tax your assets in the hands of your beneficiaries. Estate taxes also can be more costly to beneficiaries if assets are not liquid, for example, if a large portion of the value of your taxable estate is in your home or business. A will describes your wishes for the distribution of your assets (the estate) after your death.
Probate courts distribute assets in the absence of a will and administer wills in estates with assets valued above a certain (variable) dollar amount.
Living wills, with power of attorney and health care proxy, provide medical directives, empower someone to manage your estate while you are still alive, and authorize someone to make decision about your health and end-of-life care.

Trusts are used to provide the benefits of assets for beneficiaries without them assuming responsibility for asset management.
Estate planning should try to minimize the federal and state tax obligations of estate disposition.
In addition, you should include an accounting clause to require the agent to report his or her transactions regularly. The person selected may be able to handle any type of decision as long as it is to your best interest.
That is your willwillA legal document detailing the disposition of assets upon death., your legal request for the distribution of your estate, that is, assets that remain after your debts have been satisfied. The document has to be witnessed by two or three people who are not inheriting anything under the terms of the will, and it must be dated and signed and, in some states, notarized.
To prepare for this possibility, you may create a living willliving willA document conveying your intentions for your personal care and management of your assets should you become unable to do so before your death. Many people request, for example, that they not be revived or sustained if they cannot experience some quality of life. Ownership of the assets passes to the beneficiaries at the time of the gift, so the assets are no longer included in your estate.
For example, the federal government considers any a€?gifta€? you make within three years prior to your death as part of your taxable estate.
The probate process can be long and costly, and therefore a burden for your executor, your beneficiaries (who may have to wait for their distributions), and your estate.
In states with estate taxes, you must file a return if the taxable estate value is more than $1,000,000 or other similar cut-off amount. Because of the costs involved, beneficiaries potentially may not be able to afford to inherit or preserve wealth within the family. Your primary objective is to see that your dependents are provided for by the distribution of your assets and that your assets are distributed as you would wish were you still there to distribute them yourself. Start by reviewing your balance sheet, showing your assets, liabilities, and net worth, and your inventory of personal and household property. You may restrict various monetary power by not initializing any statements on the form that you do not with the representative to have.
Other aspects of financial planning involve creating and managing your assets while you are alive.
If you die intestateintestateTo die without a valid will, leaving the disposition of assets and debts to the law., or without a will, the laws of your state of legal residence will dictate the distribution of your estate.
You may also include a a€?letter of last instructiona€? stating the location of important documents, safe deposit keys, and bank accounts, and specifying your funeral arrangements. A drawback of this type of will is that the stated amounts may be reasonable when your will is drawn up but may not reflect your intentions at the time of your death, perhaps many years later. A testamentary trusttestamentary trustA trust created by a will that becomes effective upon the death of the grantor. The federal government and many state governments levy a gift tax for gifts exceeding certain limits.

For this reason and others, many states have redefined or repealed their inheritance tax laws. To avoid that, some estate plans include purchasing a life insurance policy for the anticipated amount of the estate tax, and thus providing a source of liquid funds or cash for tax payment.
It is highly recommended that you specify which powers you want to grant, rather than merely incorporating the entire list by reference to the statute. For that reason, rather than specifying specific amounts, it may be better to specify percentages of your asset values you would like each beneficiary to have. You may appoint someonea€”usually a spouse, child, or siblinga€”who would have power of attorneypower of attorneyThe legal right to act on your behalf should you become unable to do so before your death., that is, the right to act on your behalf, especially as regards financial and legal decisions. Some parents also prefer to make funds available or to gift them to their children when the children need them more, for example, earlier in their adult lives when they may not have accrued enough wealth to make a down payment on a house. According to the National Consumer Law Center, what questions should you ask to avoid becoming a victim of living trust scams?
A traditional marital share willtraditional marital share willA will leaving one-half of the estate to the surviving spouse. That power may be limited or unlimited (such as a a€?durable power of attorneya€?) and is restricted to certain acts or dependent on certain circumstances. Also, the federal government does not tax gifts to spouses and to pay othersa€™ medical bills or tuitions. Arranging for the disposition of your estate is not a morbid concern but a kindness to those you leave behind. Death is a legal and financial eventa€”and in some cases a taxable eventa€”as well as an emotional one. Your loved ones will have to deal with the emotional aftermath of your loss and will appreciate your care in planning for the legal and financial outcomes of your death.
Having yours drawn up by a lawyer may better insure its completeness and validity in court. A revocable living trustrevocable living trustA trust created while the grantor is living that may be revoked or changed by the grantor; therefore, ownership of the grantora€™s assets remains under the control of the grantor. An irrevocable living trustirrevocable living trustA trust created while the grantor is living, that may not be revoked or changed by the grantor. The trust is considered a legal entity, and ownership of the grantora€™s assets is transferred to the trust. However, the trust then becomes a separate taxable entity and pays tax on its accumulated income.

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