Estate and probate issues can be complex for Ohio families, especially when dishonesty or greed is involved in dealing with a loved one’s estate. However, these kinds of problems can be minimized when people have developed wills, trusts and other documents to help ensure that their heirs receive their assets in a way that reflects their interests. The presence of a will can help potential heirs understand their rights and prevent unjust or unfair outcomes after a person has passed away. This can be especially important in the case of blended families, where spouses and children from multiple marriages may have more distant and less trusting relations.
Probate matters are generally handled under state law. When a person dies without a will providing for his or her estate, he or she is considered to have passed away intestate. In this case, state law governs the distribution of an individual’s assets and mandates that a certain portion to go to a spouse, children and other family members. This distribution takes place after debts and taxes are handled in the probate court.
When people plan their own estates, they can make a more precise plan for the distribution of their assets, including willing specific items or properties to certain individuals. An estate plan can also include trusts and other forms of non-probate transfer that can prevent estate assets from being caught up in lengthy probate periods. After a person passes away, all beneficiaries have a right to receive a copy of the will by filing a petition with the local county court.
People can help avoid confusion and further pain after their passing by developing estate plans. An estate planning attorney can help individuals develop wills and trusts as well as other key documents to help ensure that their wishes are followed for their estates and their loved ones are provided for.