Ohio Wills & Probate Attorneys

When it comes to your family’s future, work with an Ohio estate planning attorney that you trust.

Introduction to Wills and Probates

Attorney Zack Dolyk can help with your Will & Probate questions.

It’s never too early to start preparing for what happens next than by writing a will or going through the estate planning process.

At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, our wills and probate lawyers understand that thinking about what happens after you pass away is stressful. What will happen to your assets? Will your wishes be carried out? These feelings are natural, and that’s why we approach estate planning with experience and compassion.

We are committed to getting to know you and listening to your goals and concerns. We believe that by forming personal connections, we can provide an exceptional level of service. Call Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA today for a free estate planning consultation at (419) 625-7770.

Wills and the Probate Court Process

A will is the best way to ensure that your estate – the property and assets you have at the time of your death – is distributed according to your wishes. Your will lets you:

  • Name an executor for your estate
  • Appoint guardians and successor guardians for your children
  • Name guardians for property management
  • Direct the distribution of your property
  • Create a trust or life estate
  • Provide for the payment of debts
  • Choose the powers granted to the executor
  • Plan for the payment of estate taxes
  • Reduce the risk of disputes over your estate

Probate is a legal process through which a court ensures that your will is properly executed and that your estate pays your taxes and settles your debts. Although most of your estate must pass through probate, there are some exceptions:

  • Assets held in a revocable living trust
  • Real estate subject to an Ohio transfer-on-death deed
  • Proceeds of an insurance policy for which you are not the beneficiary
  • Retirement and pay-upon-death bank accounts with a named beneficiary
  • Assets held by a couple in tenancy by the entirety, when the tenancy was created before April 4, 1985
  • Assets held in joint or survivorship tenancy, which pass directly to the survivor

Probate can be expensive.

Court costs can reach $250, and your estate will need to pay the executor and attorney’s fees. If your estate is worth less than $35,000, or $100,000 and everything passes to a surviving spouse, your estate qualifies for a simplified probate process.

Your estate may also qualify for a complete release from probate if it is worth less than $5,000.

Your estate may not need to pass through probate if your:

  • Surviving spouse inherits everything and is legally entitled to family support;
  • Assets are worth $45,000 or less; AND
  • Surviving spouse already paid the funeral costs or commits to paying them

The Benefit of a Probate Lawyer

The probate process in Ohio gets complicated fast. It generally takes around six to nine months for an estate to pass through probate, and decisions are binding once a will is probated.

A wills and probate lawyer with Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA can help you write a valid will that will legally bind decisions regarding your assets. These documents will have legal finality once your will is probated. Additionally, we can help your estate pass smoothly through the probate process, so your beneficiaries get their share of the estate with as little hassle as possible.

At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, we’re committed to providing compassionate and sensitive representation for your family’s legal matters. An Ohio wills and probate attorney will guide you through the probate process, helping to draft or modify wills when needed.

Call us at (419) 625-7770 if you have questions or concerns about going through probate.

How to Make a Will Legally Binding?

Although anyone can write a will, or even fill in a pre-written will online, it is highly recommended to work with trusted and competent wills and probate lawyers regarding your estate.

An attorney will be able to help ensure that your wishes are realized after your passing and that your property is distributed to beneficiaries smoothly. Call Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA today for a free consult about your will: (419) 625-7770.

To be valid, a will must meet the following requirements:

  • Written by or for the person to whom the will applies who is at least 18 years old
  • It must be in writing and signed at the end
  • Two competent people who are not beneficiaries must witness the will’s signing in presence of one another
  • The person to whom the will applies must declare in the presence of both witnesses that the document is intended to be his or her last will and testament

If you make changes to your will, it may become invalid. For instance, if you cross off a section and make a change, your entire will may lose its legal effect. So if you change your mind about how you want to distribute your estate, you need to rewrite a new will or append a codicil to the existing one.

A codicil is a separate document that amends part of your will. To be effective, it must meet the same formal requirements as a will.

What happens if you don’t have a will?

If you don’t have a will at the time of your death, a court will appoint an administrator who will direct the distribution of your estate according to Ohio’s intestate laws. Intestate is the legal term for someone who dies without a valid will. The intestate laws may cause your property to be distributed very differently from the way you may have intended.

If, at the time of your death, you are intestate and have:

A spouse and children from that spouse

Your spouse receives all of your property

A spouse and minor children from another parent

Your spouse gets between $20,000 and $60,000 of your estate and the rest is divided among your children and your spouse

A spouse and no children

Your spouse receives all of your property

Neither spouse, nor children, but surviving parents

Your parents take everything

Neither spouse, nor children, but surviving parents

Your siblings get your property

Neither spouse, nor children, nor parents, nor siblings

Your property will be split between your grandparents and/or their descendants

These laws were designed to protect your spouse and children. In Ohio, spouses have such a strong right to the estate of their partner that it is impossible to “write them out” of a will. However, you may exclude your children from receiving any portion of your estate when you write your will.

Why a living will is essential

A living will is a document in which you dictate your intentions regarding life-saving or sustaining care when you are incapacitated. Without a living will, your estate may be forced to pay to keep you alive in a hospital until your family finishes the process of requesting the termination of your life support.

You can spare your family both the stress and expense of dealing with such a situation by writing a living will today. You can specify that you do not wish to be resuscitated or to be given life-sustaining treatment under certain circumstances. To be valid, the living will must be dated and signed in the presence of a witness or notarized. Contact us for more information about making a living will.

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