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  • Jim Schroeder


SECURE THE PAPERS. Have a plan as to where these documents will be safely kept. Let your beneficiary know where to find the originals.

You may hand out copies of your Power of Attorney documents. Copies of POAs are as effective as the original. Never give the original away to a third party!


Complete a Payable on Death Affidavit for Bank Accounts. Go to your bank and ask for the necessary forms to make your accounts payable upon death to a person you choose.

Transfer on Death for Real Estate. If you have not done so already, you can have our office draft and file a Transfer on Death Affidavit for an Ohio Real Estate parcel you own. If you own property out of state, we can discuss whether there is a similar statute in the other states where you hold title to a property.

Change Titles to Vehicles. Any motor vehicle or RV with a title may be passed directly upon death to a person you designate by obtaining and filing a “Transfer on Death Beneficiary Designation/Removal Affidavit” (BMV3811) form with the County Clerk’s Title Office.

Designate Beneficiaries. For any asset with a beneficiary, including insurance policies, retirement accounts, investments, business interests, notes, or mortgages payable to you, you can designate the Trust as the beneficiary of these assets.

Please speak with your financial advisor regarding whether it is your best strategy to designate the Trust as the beneficiary of an IRA; you may be better off naming a spouse or a child as the beneficiary and allowing these assets to grow tax-free, longer. We can help you with transferring these interests if you wish, but clients generally can handle these transactions themselves or with the assistance of their financial advisor/broker.

Give Specific Gifts. If you wish to give something of financial value or even sentimental value and you can part with it now, I encourage you to write a little note to the person you want to give it to as to what you want to give to them and why and give the gift now rather than waiting. It will likely be meaningful for the person and save potential conflict later. You may give specific gifts as part of your will but these “pass-through” probate.

REVIEW THE PLAN. You should have us review the plan every five years or if a major life event occurs, such as:

• Marriage or Divorce

• Birth or adoption of a child

• Death of a spouse, child, beneficiary, or executor

• Acquisition of a new property that you want to add to the Will.

• Change of residence to another state where the inheritance laws are different.

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