It's a common misconception that people who don't have very much money don't require an estate plan. In fact, there are several barebones components that everybody needs to set up before they pass away in order to make things easier on those they leave behind.
Let's take a look at the basics that every Ohio resident should have in their estate plans no matter how much money or assets they have accumulated in their lives:
This is especially important for anyone who has a minor child. If you and the other parent of your child pass away before your child comes of age, the state will determine whom your child's caretaker will be. This could be a frightening prospect -- particularly if you look at your next of kin and don't feel like you'd want them raising your son or daughter. By creating a simple and inexpensive will, you can designate the guardian of your choice to care for your children after you're gone.
Your living will
It doesn't matter how old you are, a life-altering accident or health condition could leave you incapacitated and on life support. If you have a preference about how you should be treated and what kinds of steps doctors should take to keep you alive, you can use a living will to state your wishes pertaining to the end of your life. For example, your living will can refuse the application of CPR and other life-saving medical techniques if you'd prefer to die without artificial support.
Your powers of attorney
A financial power of attorney and health care power of attorney will allow your family members to make financial decisions and medical decisions on your behalf if you're not capable of making these decisions yourself.
With the above documents in place, you'll be well on your way to having the basics of an estate plan, which will make things a great deal easier on your family members after your death. You can always elaborate your estate plan later, should you choose, but no matter who you are -- if you're an adult in Ohio -- you should at the very least consider completing the above-referenced estate planning documents.