If I’m Married Do I Need a Will in Ohio?

Posted in: by Victor Kademenos

Life is filled with unpleasant surprises, and every adult should perform some basic estate planning. Married couples especially should have wills, no matter their age or wealth. Through a will, you can help prepare for the unexpected.

If you need help creating a will that makes sense for you and your spouse, the Ohio Wills & Probate attorneys with Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA can handle everything. Let us review your situation and draft a will that protects you and your family. Call (419) 625-7770 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Why Married Couples Need a Will

A will is a written plan of what you want to be done with your assets after you pass away. If you don’t have a will in Ohio, your assets will pass to your next of kin. If you’re married and your spouse survives you, he or she will be your next of kin. But things aren’t that simple.

You May Both Die at or About the Same Time

Married couples often travel and do things together. If the two of you die in a vehicle accident while traveling or have a house fire, your spouse is no longer your next of kin. Your assets need to be untangled so they will go to the next of kin of the two of you. If this happens and you would prefer someone to inherit from you, you need a will.

If a terrible accident happens, there’s a good chance someone’s negligence may have caused it. If that’s the case, depending on your age, earnings, and circumstances, a wrongful death lawsuit by your heirs could be worth hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of dollars. Without a will, this substantial amount could be spread among many members of your extended family. But with a will, that amount could be received by specific people you want or charitable organizations you care about.

Someone You Don’t Trust May Be Put in an Important Role

If you have minor children and you both die, who will care for them? Multiple people could step forward to be their guardian. Potentially the issue could even go to court.

Many couples have family members who they don’t want to be involved with their children. But without a will, these wishes cannot be expressed. Through a will, you can nominate a guardian to care for your child in case neither you nor your spouse are alive to do so.

A Will Helps with Probate

Whether you have a will or not, your estate will be probated. Without a will, multiple people could ask a judge to represent your estate. This person would organize your assets and debts then pay necessary debts, taxes, and fees. Your next of kin would be paid next from what’s left.

With a will, you state who you want to be responsible for your estate. This would be someone you trust and believe is capable of the job. Without a will, you don’t know who will step forward. It may be someone you don’t think is the right person to handle your matters.

Without a Will Only People Will Inherit Your Assets

You may not have a lot of money, but you care about a cause and want to support it. Maybe you’re involved in a church, volunteer activities, or a nonprofit organization. You can’t give much now, but you can’t take it with you when you die. A will lets you leave part or all of your estate to an organization you care about. Without a will, your assets go to your next of kin, no one else.

Still Have Questions? Consult A Will Lawyer

There are advantages to creating a will whether you’re married or not. An experienced Ohio will & probate attorney at our firm can talk about your specific situation and how a will can fit your needs. Let us provide you and your family with peace of mind knowing that a legally valid will protects your assets and your intended beneficiaries.

If you have more (419) 625-7770.