Estate Planning
Wills/Trusts/Powers of Attorney

Every person can benefit from estate planning regardless of the size of your estate.  Give your family peace of mind by preparing in advance.  Specify your wishes in a Will or Revocable Trust to ensure your assets are distributed as you intend.  Avoid confusion and conflict between your loved ones if you find yourself in an unexpected end-of-life situation by preparing your Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney today.  If you wait to prepare these documents until the moment they are needed, it may be too late. 

Schedule a consultation with experienced estate planning attorney Mary Lewis Turner to discuss your goals and determine which estate plan is best for you and your family.

Wills

A Will is a legal document that allows you to specify how you want your assets distributed after your death.  You can specify beneficiaries—the people that will receive your tangible personal property, your house and any other real estate you own, and your business interests, etc.  You can also specify who will be the guardian of your minor children if you die.  In your Will, you will specify someone to serve as your Executor to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your specifications.  The Probate Court may oversee the distribution of your assets to ensure your estate is properly transferred to your named beneficiaries.

Revocable Trust

A Revocable Trust is a legal document that allows you to specify in more detail how you want your assets managed both during your lifetime and after your death.  During your lifetime, you can be the Trustee in charge of managing your Trust, and you can make changes to your Trust.  You may transfer ownership of your assets into your Trust so your loved ones can avoid going through Probate Court to have them distributed when you die.  Your Trust will become permanent or irrevocable upon your death, and the person you name to serve as your Successor Trustee will manage the distribution of your assets according to your specific wishes.

Living Will

A Living Will is a legal document that allows you to specify your preferences for medical treatments and medical care if you are unable to make a decision for yourself in the future.  This document also allows you to decide whether or not you would like to be an organ donor.  A Living Will typically applies if you are seriously injured, terminally ill, or in a coma, and you are unable to make decisions for yourself.  A Living Will reduces stress on your loved ones who would otherwise be forced to make a decision regarding life-support in the midst of an unexpected end-of-life situation, and avoids disagreements and confusion about your choices.  You may revoke or revise this document at any time during your lifetime.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A Health Care Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to specify a person to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so for yourself.  You may also specify someone to serve as your guardian to care for you and your estate if you are ever unable to do so for yourself.  Most people choose a close family member or trusted friend to serve as their Health Care Power of Attorney or an alternate if their original designee is unavailable.  You may revoke or revise this document at any time during your lifetime.

Financial Power of Attorney

A Financial Power of Attorney, sometimes called a Durable Financial Power of Attorney, is a legal document that authorizes a person you specify to handle your finances on your behalf.  This document is often beneficial if you lose your capacity to make financial decisions for yourself in the future.  You must establish this document while you are still capable of expressing your intentions and understand what you are signing.  You must be sure that you completely trust the person you name to be your Financial Power of Attorney because that person will have access to your bank accounts and other important financial information.  You may revoke or revise this document at any time during your lifetime.

Frequently asked questions

One of my children suffers from addiction, and I am worried that leaving them a large sum of money will cause more harm than good. I do not want to exclude this child from their inheritance, but I want to ensure they are protected. Can I do this?

Yes. This is a common concern for many families who have a loved one suffering from drug addiction or alcohol addiction.  In these situations, a Trust can ensure that your loved one will receive their inheritance, but under the protection and control of another person that you select to be your Trustee.  Your loved one will receive the benefits of their inheritance in a controlled and safe manner.

I have sole custody of my child, and I am afraid that their other parent will become their guardian if I die. Can I prevent this?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent a parent from obtaining custody or guardianship of their child, but you can specify your wishes and reasons for not wanting the other parent to have guardianship or custody in your Will.  If you have sole custody of your child, you do not have to name the other parent to be your child’s Guardian if you die.  If the other parent contests your appointed Guardian, the Court will have a hearing to determine what is in your child’s best interests at that time, and the Judge can take your wishes into consideration.

If you are my attorney, will you be my Executor or Trustee?

No.  I do not serve as my client’s Executor or Trustee.  Most clients choose a family member or trusted friend to serve as the Executor of their Will or Trustee of their Trust.

The material on this webpage has been prepared by Lewis Legal Solutions for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific matter.  No attorney-client relationship is implied or created by the information found on this website.  Lewis Legal Solutions practices law within the state of Ohio.  Individuals should seek the advice of legal counsel licensed in their state.