A will is a legally binding document that allows you to designate how, when and to whom your property is distributed when you pass away. A will also allows you to designate who will care for your children. Without a will, the State of Ohio will determine who gets your property, who takes care of your children and who administers your affairs.

Many times we encounter clients who have not thought through the process and all the variables, such as what would happen if a spouse passes at or near the same time, or if someone named in your will declines to serve, or passes first.

Having a will also can shorten the often lengthy probate court proceedings that estates can encounter. Other problems can also be avoided with a will, such as the requirement that your executor posts bond, or that a particular person cannot or will not serve.

There are very strict rules in Ohio concerning wills, how to ensure that they are valid and how to be certain that they are properly witnessed. It’s not a job for an amateur or something you want to trust to a do-it-yourself website.

Probate and Estate Planning

Estate planning is the term used to describe the process of preparing for these eventualities in more complex cases, sometimes involving trusts, power of attorney for various items, living wills, etc. It offers numerous benefits even if you don’t have tangible assets.

The legal process by which your property is collected, managed and distributed after a person’s death is known as “probate”. Some types of property pass automatically under Ohio law, while other types are required to go through the probate process. The probate process in Ohio is usually longer and more time consuming than most people assume. It helps to plan ahead to avoid some of these problems.

Other special situations can arise:

  • Managing your estate on behalf of your children after a divorce or separation for example requires special estate planning. Will your ex-spouse or another relative be in charge of your money?
  • Who will take care of your finances or make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated?
  • Who will take care of your pets? Do you have special previsions to that effect?
  • Where do you want to be buried? Do you prefer cremation?

Our firm can help you gain peace of mind by securing these issues. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is essential in making sure that your final wishes regarding your property, your loved ones and your healthcare options are carried out.


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