Creating an estate plan can be a complicated process for those who do not have legal representation, especially for testators who own unique or diverse assets. To ensure that your own property is distributed as you wish after your death and is not transferred based on the state’s statutory formula, please contact our Oberlin wills and estates legal team today for an initial consultation.
Unfortunately, drafting a will does not mean that an estate no longer has to go through the probate courts. However, it can make the process go more quickly, with fewer complications, and at less cost to the parties involved. It also ensures that an executor of the testator’s choosing is put in charge of administering the estate and it is not placed in the hands of an executor named by the court. It is also important to note that only property that falls under the category of “probate property” actually needs to go through the probate process.
Probate property is primarily made up of all assets that are actually titled in a decedent’s name and are also not transferable on death. This means that the following types of assets do not qualify as probate property and can be transferred immediately without the need to go through the courts:
Both probate and non probate property may be subject to federal estate taxes.
Executing a will is one of the best ways to ensure that a person’s property goes to the individuals or organizations that he or she wishes. Those who fail to draft a will and who also do not have a trust in place will instead have their estates distributed to their nearest family members based on a preset formula. Similarly, a decedent is unable to choose who will act as the executor of his or estate and will also miss out on the opportunity to name a guardian for a minor child. However, even testators who have wills in place could have their estates distributed based not on the terms of their will, but on the state’s laws of intestacy if they failed to comply with the formal requirements of executing a will, such as recording the will in writing, signing it, and having the document witnessed and signed by two uninterested parties. For this reason, proper execution is critical when drafting a will or otherwise planning an estate, making it especially important for those thinking about planning their estate to speak with an attorney before moving forward.
To begin the process of accounting for, inventorying, and appraising your property in preparation for writing a will or creating a trust, please do not hesitate to contact one of the experienced Oberlin wills and estates attorneys at Kryszak & Associates, Co., LPA by calling 440-934-5330 today or by sending us an online message.