Jonathon (JC) Elgin, local attorney and shareholder at JC Elgin Co., LPA specializes in estate planning, probate, bankruptcy and civil matters. With roots in Shelby and a strong educational background from Ohio State University and Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law, Elgin returned to his hometown to cater to the legal needs of the local community.
Estate planning allows individuals to decide what happens to their belongings after they pass away. Whether a person has prepared a will or not, the state of Ohio has a default plan for distributing assets in the absence of specific instructions.
“Planning your estate is essential to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes and to prevent any unnecessary burden on your loved ones,” Elgin said. Whether it is avoiding probate or minimizing tax implications, estate planning provides a sense of security for individuals and their families.”
Elgin highlighted four primary reasons why people seek estate planning services. First, it eases the administration process for their loved ones. Second, it helps avoid probate courts and potential complications. Third, some individuals use estate planning for tax purposes, given the fluctuations in the estate tax threshold. Finally, others require estate planning to position themselves for Medicaid resources without sacrificing all their assets to nursing home expenses.
“Estate planning is not just for the wealthy, it is for anyone who wants to protect their family’s future. Having a clear plan in place ensures that your hard-earned assets go to the right people and causes that matter most to you,” Elgin said.
When doing estate planning, four essential documents are considered: the last will, healthcare power of attorney, financial power of attorney and a living will. The last will specifies how a person’s belongings are to be distributed after their passing, while the powers of attorney designate individuals who can make decisions on someone’s behalf if they become incapacitated. The living will provides instructions to doctors regarding end-of-life decisions.
“With proper estate planning, you have the opportunity to appoint someone you trust to handle your medical and financial decisions if you’re unable to do so yourself. This ensures that your wishes are respected even if you become unable to communicate,” Elgin said.
For more complex situations, individuals may require advanced estate planning, such as establishing trusts to protect their assets or cater to specific situations like providing for a disabled child or safeguarding assets for a financially irresponsible child.
Regarding the probate process, Elgin explained that it comes into play after someone passes away. The probate process is an orderly resolution of a deceased individual’s debts and assets, supervised by the court. If the person had a will, the probate court ensures the document meets legal requirements and the appointed individual (the “executor”) follows the will’s instructions and state law in wrapping up the deceased person’s affairs. In the absence of a will, the probate court appoints someone (the “administrator”) to distribute the assets according to the state’s default plan.
Bob Williams, a pleased client of JC Elgin Co., LPA, has nothing but high praise for the work JC Elgin does for him.
“I chose JC Elgin to do our wills for us because he was immediately nice and trustworthy the first time we met at a benefit in Shelby,” Williams said. “He never rushes and he’s very professional, thorough and reasonable. I have recommended him to many people.”
Elgin’s expertise in estate planning and probate provides valuable legal services to the community, ensuring peace of mind and secure futures for his clients. His commitment to his hometown and passion for the law continue to serve the Shelby community well. With a wide range of legal knowledge and dedication to helping individuals secure their assets and make informed decisions, Elgin stands as a trusted ally for the residents of Shelby and beyond.
For more information about JC Elgin Co., LPA, visit their website or call 567-275-1040.