Columbus Ohio Last Will and Testament Attorneys
If you are someone who wishes their assets and property to be handed down to a specific person or persons, then you should have an attorney prepare your will for you.
In Ohio, the writing of a will is best handled by an estate planning or probate attorney, so that upon your death the distribution of your property, money, holdings, and other assets will be received by exactly the people you wish it to, whether it be your spouse, heirs, relatives, friends, or even an organization such as a church or a charity. You will also be able to choose a representative you wish to handle your estate (called an ‘estate administrator’ or ‘executor’).
You've worked hard all your life to acquire what you have.
Having a discerning and well-informed attorney who will utilize all the ingrained methods they have learned from decades of estate and probate law experience is essential. A Last Will and Testament will safeguard your estate, making sure that your real or personal property will be distributed to your loved ones according to your intentions and wishes.
Last Will and Testament - Factors to Consider
It is not required that one have a Last Will and Testament.
However, without a will your property may go to people you may not wish it to.
In Ohio, if there is no will, then intestate or intestacy laws will take effect. This means that:
Your spouse will inherit all of your real or personal property.
If there is no spouse, then your children will inherit your estate, which will be divided equally among all of them.
If you haven’t any spouse or any children, then your parents will inherit your estate.
If you have no living spouse, children, or parents, then your estate will be divided among your other relatives such as nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, and cousins.
What may surprise you is that if you have no living relatives at all, then the state of Ohio will receive your property and assets.
Obviously, it makes good sense to make sure you have a will in place, and that you have an experienced Last Will and Testament attorney, who will make sure your estate is handled just as you wish, and only as you wish.
Last Will and Testament - Other Factors to Consider
There are other factors to consider when having an attorney draft a will for you. What if you have a life partner, or someone who you wish certain assets will go to? Will the state of Ohio see that person as a rightful beneficiary of your estate? And what if you wish your estate to be bequeathed to a friend, or to an organization or charity that you feel can use it more than family members? Without a legal Last Will and Testament, any of the above may not receive the part of your estate that you would prefer. Keep in mind however, that your spouse and minor children do have certain rights that your attorney will help you navigate.
Any outstanding debts will need to be paid through the estate before any assets are divided to beneficiaries of your will.
Also, there may be assets that are not just the ownership of the deceased, but may be co-owned by others as well. This will have to be worked-out before assets are divided.
A Last Will and Testament must have certain legal requirements met in order to be considered valid by the state of Ohio. You can see why the importance of having a will is essential, and that hiring a knowledgeable Last Will and Testament attorney is crucial to ensuring your will is legally valid, and that your estate is handled just as you wish upon your death.
Last Will & Testament FAQ
Can I include my dog, cat or pet in my will?
In Ohio, pets can be a part of your will, and will receive such assets as you specify upon your death. A ‘pet trust’ can be established as a means to care for your pet, and you are able to name a person who will care for your pet.
What is a living will?
A living will takes care of your needs, property etc. should you become incapacitated during your lifetime, and unable to make your own decisions. It should not be confused with a Last Will and Testament, which goes into effect upon your death.
What if I’m not married and have no children, who will my estate be left to?
Next in line will be your relatives such as cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces.
What are intestacy laws?
In Ohio, if you have no Last Will and Testament, then intestate laws will go into effect. This law will determine who receives your assets, and the distribution of your estate, whether it’s what you would have preferred or not.
How big of an estate must I have before it makes sense in having a Last Will and Testament?
The depth and size of your real or personal property is not an issue when deciding to have a will or not. Anyone with any kind of asset they wish to pass along should have a will.
Am I allowed to change my will?
Yes, the state of Ohio allows any will to be altered by the signee with the use of a document called a codicil. This is helpful should things change while you are still alive such as a divorce, a change in your property etc.
Where can I learn more about wills, and the law, for the state of Ohio?
You can visit the Ohio State Bar Association's page: Law Facts: Wills.