A will gives you power over your assets instead of leaving everything up to the state to divide. However, it can be hard to know how to start or the words to use when deciding who will get what. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone. Given how important a will is, it can be a straightforward process in Ohio with the right estate planning lawyer.
What Is a Will?
A will is a written legal document that details who should get your assets after your death. It can also provide information about the care of your minor children or pets.
First off, a will should name the executor of your estate. This person will take control of things after your death and handle all matters. You can select a trusted friend or family member to be your executor. However, you may also choose to use an attorney to handle your estate after your death. This ensures all laws will be followed appropriately and your assets are treated as you wish.
Your will should also name guardians and successor guardians for your minor or disabled and dependent children. Many people also include people who will take care of their pets in case they pass away.
You can plan for the direct distribution of your property, creation of a trust or life estate, and payment of debts and estate taxes through your will as well. These tasks can be legally complex and will likely need input from a trusted will and probate attorney.
Why Is Having a Will Important?
If you want to have power over who gets your assets, it’s essential to have a will. According to Ohio state probate law, if you do not have a will, a court will determine who gets all of your property.
Probate can be costly and time-consuming. It requires notifying beneficiaries, and often families fight over the outcome. Instead of relying on probate, your lawyer can:
- Create living trusts where your property is automatically passed on to others
- Establish payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) accounts
- Put money into retirement accounts, life insurance, and other types of accounts that have named beneficiaries
- Create joint bank accounts that automatically transfer to another person
- Make sure real estate is held as a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship (JTROS) with another person
You can make things easier on your family and friends by planning with a will and working with an attorney who will create a roadmap for your assets after your death.
How Do You Get a Will?
Anyone can get a will. In Ohio, it’s as easy as using software or handwriting it and then signing it in front of two witnesses. Those two witnesses, who should not have an interest or be beneficiaries, should also sign the will. In Ohio, wills are “self-proving,” meaning you do not need to get it notarized.
Although it is possible to create a will by yourself, you will not likely avoid probate and prevent all conflict without an attorney’s help. Your will and probate lawyer can take steps to create specialized accounts, write specific documents, and notify appropriate parties to plan your estate properly.
Call KWHDW for a Will
The lawyers at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co., LPA are here to help you get a will and make sure all of your wishes are established. Attorney Zack Dolyk will listen to your story and help you create the perfect plan. Call us today at (419) 625-7770 or reach out online.