If you have begun thinking about whom you will leave your property to after your death, you should consider officially planning your estate. Whether you decide to draft a will or create a trust, this is an important step, as it ensures that a testator’s assets are distributed as he or she wishes and not according to the state’s laws of intestacy. Knowing that a will is in place can also give testators the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their loved ones will be provided for. To begin the process of planning your own estate, please contact an experienced Avon wills and estates attorney for advice on your next steps.
Drafting a will not only ensures that a person’s assets are divided among certain individuals and organizations, but also gives testators the opportunity to name an executor who will administer their estate, name a guardian who will be responsible for the care of any minor children, and notify family members of any end-of-life wishes. Furthermore, although estates that are administered according to a will still need to go through probate, the process is usually much faster, less costly, and less stressful for family members when a will is already in place. This is due to the fact that when a decedent dies without a will, a probate court will need to step in and follow a series of statutory steps in distributing the assets.
Finally, creating a will gives Ohio residents the opportunity to leave their assets in the hands of those to whom they will be most beneficial, which could include not only family members, but also close friends, and charitable organizations. Wills can also reduce taxes and expenses by allowing testators to take advantage of both marital and charitable deductions contained in federal estate tax law.
Those who die without a will, which is also known as dying “intestate,” will have their property distributed to their closest family members according to a specific formula. Essentially, this means that while a person’s surviving spouse and children would receive a portion of his or her estate even if no will was in place, the decedent would not get to choose which property went to whom, or to bequeath assets to non-family members. Similarly, those who pass away without a will have no influence over who is appointed to administer the estate or who is named as a guardian for any minor children. Instead, the probate court will appoint an administrator on the decedent’s behalf.
If you do not have a will or are interested in changing a prior testamentary document, you need the advice of an experienced Avon wills and estates attorney. Please call Kryszak & Associates, Co., LPA at 440-934-5330 to schedule a consultation with a dedicated attorney who can walk you through the steps of planning your estate.