ESTATE PLANNING IS KEY

Margie Karl

By Patricia Nugent

Over the past decade, attorney Margaret T. Karl has worked tirelessly helping clients with their estate planning.

She has earned a reputation for honesty and going the extra mile to put her clients’ interests first. In fact, she even makes house calls.

Concentrating in wills, trusts, powers of attorney and legal documentation, she customizes each estate plan to the person’s unique needs.

A Few Cautionary Tales
Many of Margie’s cases deal with unforeseen situations.

For instance, one client recently came in after her husband passed away. Even though he had been ill, they had not prepared a will.

“It was a second marriage for both of them,” says Margie. “They both had children from previous marriages. He was estranged from his own children, but not hers. However, since he passed away intestate, or without a will, and he had not named any beneficiaries, we had to open probate and his children would receive a portion of the assets, and her children would not. People assume because they were married that everything automatically goes to the wife, not necessarily. Of course, she was upset since her children were in his life, and got nothing, while his own children were very estranged yet still received their portion.”

Another recent client was put unexpectedly into hospice. She was near the end of her life yet had not drafted a will.

“It was heartbreaking,” recalls Margie. “Here the husband was running back and forth to my office from hospice doing the planning when he could’ve been spending all of those last hours with her.”

A few months ago, husband and wife clients both passed away suddenly from Covid.

“Their accounts were a mess,” she says. “They had no children, but a nephew came to my office and brought a big bag of papers. We didn’t even know what was current.”

No matter your situation, Margie strongly recommends making a list—whether it’s handwritten on a legal pad or in a binder—of all your financial assets, life insurance policies and will, trust or power of attorney, to make things better for your loved ones.

The bottom line? When it comes to your last wishes, planning ahead lends invaluable peace of mind.

Word of Mouth Recommendations
Finding the right attorney is one of those things best done by following recommendations. Margie is proud to regularly receive glowing reviews from her clients. Here are a few recent ones.

“Margaret was very easy to work with to set up a trust and a will for me and my husband. Very friendly and covered everything we needed, plus extras we did not think of. Price is very reasonable.” —Lisa R.

“Margie is very compassionate and understanding. My mother is in a nursing home due to a stroke. Margie has made the whole process of completing my mother’s living will, general power of attorney and medical power of attorney simplified. Margie even set up an appointment to go to the nursing home.” —Lisa H.

Making the Process Work During the Pandemic
During the government mandates on social distancing, Margie will do whatever it takes, if that means meeting on your front porch, in a specially arranged area in a senior care facility, or virtually.

With many of us staying home for the holidays, now is the perfect time to check “getting a will” off your to-do list.

“After people have finished drafting a will, they often tell me it was so much easier and more affordable than they thought it would be, and wonder why they waited so long,” she says. “I don’t need much in terms of documentation, just an idea of your assets and the names and addresses of people you are choosing as beneficiaries. That’s it. We can usually knock the planning out in two half-hour visits.”

The office of Margaret T. Karl, attorney at law, is located at 25800 North Depot Street, Suite 102, in Olmsted Falls. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 440-252-1747 or visit BereaOhioLaw.com.

To view original Mimi Vanderhaven article click here.

(Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

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