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Estate Planning Legal Terms Explained

What is a trust?

A Trust is a type of contract. 

Many people will use a Living Trust to assist in regulating the distribution of their assets upon death. 

A Living Trust can function in a similar manner as a Last Will and Testament.

However, assets that are titled into the name of the Trust can avoid the need for Probate Court involvement.

What is Probate Avoidance?  

There are several ways to minimize or eliminate the need of Probate Court for the distribution of assets. 


Designating beneficiaries on accounts, delivering an inter-vivos gift, and the utilization of a Living Trust are common ways to pass assets on to Beneficiaries outside of Probate Court.

What is a Last Will and Testament?  

This is a written list of instructions to the Probate Court regarding your final wishes for the distribution of any assets held in your name at the time of death and/or your wishes for appointing a Guardian for any of your children needing a Guardian.

Financial Power of Attorney:

A Power of Attorney allows an individual to appoint an Agent to make decisions on behalf of the person granting the authority.


Financial Power of Attorney can come with various risks but can also provide benefits in some circumstances.

What is a Health Care Power of Attorney?

A Health Care Power of Attorney allows an individual to appoint an Agent to make health care related decisions on behalf of the person granting the authority. 


Generally, this document is triggered when the individual is unable to make their own medical decisions due to some form of incompetency or incapacitation.

What is a Living Will:

In short, a Living Will in Ohio is a directive made by an individual to inform medical facilities, physicians, and family etc. of the individual's desire to avoid life support if doctors determine the individual is terminally ill with no chance of recovery and in a permanently unconscious state.


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