Dayton, Springfield and Greenville, Ohio Area Estate Planning Attorneys
Strategies for protecting your assets and your family
Estate plans are not just for the wealthy. If you have a home or own real estate; if you have a family-owned or closely held business; if you have stocks or bonds, a money market account, a life insurance policy, a retirement plan, or a savings or checking account, you have assets that need to be protected from excessive taxation. At the law firm of Fox & Associates Co., L.P.A. in Dayton, Ohio, we have helped hundreds of individuals, families and businesses protect what they have worked so hard to build. We work closely with Miami Valley clients to create comprehensive programs that fulfill their specific goals. Making these arrangements will protect your assets, give your loved ones clear guidance regarding your final wishes and establish the security that you deserve regarding these important matters.
Step one is a well-drafted will
A will is the most basic instrument of an estate plan. Your will is a legal document that lets you decide how and to whom you will distribute your property, choose a guardian for your minor children and name an executor — the person who will be responsible for the distribution of your assets after you die. Our attorneys have vast experience in advising clients, drafting clearly worded wills and, when changes in life situations require it, modifying wills.
Using trusts to provide for children and other loved ones
Trusts come in many shapes and sizes. A trust can provide protection for your children, spouse or loved ones with special needs. Trusts can also help to:
- Protect your privacy
- Minimize friction when you are in a second marriage and you or your new spouse have children from a previous relationship
- Provide for a favorite charity (charitable trust)
- Ensure that your heirs’ inheritances are protected from Medicaid issues
There are also revocable trusts (inter vivos trusts), which can be changed or terminated as needed, and irrevocable trusts, which are generally set in stone and often used to avoid estate taxes. These can include AB trusts and ABC trusts. As your legal advisor, your Fox & Associates Co., L.P.A. lawyer discusses your options with you to help you make informed choices to protect your assets and preserve your wealth.
Ohio advance directives
A living will is not the same thing as a will. A living will is an advance directive that dictates whether you want life support should you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. You can authorize your doctor to withhold life support measures if you so desire. Other types of advance directives include:
- Durable power of attorney for healthcare — If you’re unable to communicate your wishes due to an injury or illness, there might be confusion regarding your medical treatment. By executing a durable power of attorney for healthcare, you can appoint an agent to make these decisions on your behalf.
- Do not resuscitate (DNR) order — If your health situation is dire, you might prefer to avoid the use of extraordinary measures to prolong your life. Our firm helps individuals prepare do not resuscitate orders that detail what steps, if any, people want medical staff to take if they can no longer survive on their own.
- Anatomical gift order — Many people understand how organ donation can save lives, yet they fail to complete the simple but necessary authorization. We’ll make sure that your intentions are fulfilled should you choose to donate.
Advance directives are important legal instruments that take the burden off your family members should you become too ill or disabled to express your choices. At Fox & Associates Co., L.P.A., we provide effective, yet compassionate counsel regarding advance directives.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney document assigns an individual to manage your financial affairs in the event you become unable to do so. This gives the designated agent the ability and authority to manage your assets, pay your bills, administer any trusts you may have set up and deal with the IRS and the Ohio Department of Taxation. Our lawyers can discuss the importance of appointing a power of attorney and how to make it part of your overall estate plan.
After the death of a spouse, parent or other loved one, probate is the last thing surviving family members want to think about. As experienced probate attorneys, we can help. Whether you need legal counsel and guidance to avoid pitfalls for a simple probate or you need our insight, experience and representation for a formal probate process in which the probate court supervises distribution of assets when a will is being contested or no will exists, you can count on us.
If you have minor children or are responsible for the care of a disabled or elderly adult, it is crucial to address their needs in your estate plan. We’ll examine your particular circumstances and help you make sound choices about guardianship in the event of your death. Orders establishing legal guardianship are made by the probate court based on what is in the ward’s best interests. However, we can create a strong document expressing your wishes and the reasons you feel the person you name is best equipped to handle guardianship duties.
Contact us for a consultation
Your legal challenge deserves the individual attention and benefit of experience that the attorneys at Fox & Associates Co., L.P.A. offer. We provide aggressive representation and compassionate counsel to clients in Dayton and throughout Ohio’s Miami Valley. To schedule a consultation, please call us at 937-258-3668 or contact us online. For your convenience, we have locations in Dayton and Huber Heights.