When you die without a Will or estate plan, here is what happens.

Most of us have had the conversation with friends or family about the “what if” scenarios. “What if something happens to me and I’m incapacitated?” What quality of life would you want or how long would you want to remain in a coma? It’s a bit dark, but it’s a real-life situation.

I’m going to ask you to imagine the unimaginable. You’ve been in a car accident and you’re in a coma. Your doctors don’t know if you will ever wake up or what your quality of life will be if you do. That half-joking conversation you had with your mom a few years ago may not be what your brother wants for you. Now, there’s a rift as your family argues over what to do. Choose someone — a close friend, professional representative, even a lawyer or family doctor. You need someone with whom you would feel comfortable making decisions on your behalf. Your “Healthcare Power of Attorney” makes it legal.

In another scenario, your declining cognition or incapacitation makes you unable to pay bills that are due or make day-to-day decisions. Having a “Durable Power of Attorney” authorizes someone to do so on your behalf.

There are 3 other basic estate planning tools that can address unique obligations and wishes; a Will, a Living Will, and Revocable Trusts.

If you have a positive net worth (you own more than you owe) you need to create a last Will and testament. If you don’t name a beneficiary, your assets could be given to someone you may not even know – maybe that estranged Aunt you met once or twice. The state determines your “next of kin”.

Don’t think you own anything of value? Think again. While typical assets include things like your car, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investments, those aren’t all that you can list in your Estate Plan. Even if you think your possessions aren’t worth much, they may have significant sentimental value to someone else.Think of that little wooden chair in your corner, creaking and barely holding together while you’ve shared drinks and laughs with a close friend while sprawled across the arms. That chair may have incredible value your friend once you’re gone. Or, the blanket you made when going through your “learning to crochet” stage. Maybe you want your dog to be able to curl up in that on cold nights. Everything has value.

Using your estate plan, you choose who receives your assets. Here are some options you may not have considered:

  • Maybe you have a close friend that’s been there through thick and thin, you can name them in your Will as a beneficiary.
  • How about a charity that’s close to your heart. You can name them as well.
  • You can even leave your assets to a scholarship or educational fund.
  • Is it just you and your pet? You can leave a trust to care for them once you’re gone.

Let’s schedule your video call or appointment to get things started. It is likely less expensive and easier than you think. I look forward to helping you get it done.

Charles Bendig

I’m Chuck Bendig,

“For 40+ years, I’ve served Ohio residents. My private practice spans family law, estate planning, and personal injury cases. My commitment is rooted in genuine care for the individuals I serve.”

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