Estate Planning - Protect Your Assets for Your Loved Ones
Under Ohio law, when a person dies, all of his or her property is known as the person's estate. This can include everything from real estate and financial holdings to items with mostly sentimental value. Any outstanding debts are considered part of the estate, as well.
A probate court must determine how to distribute the estate. If the person left a will, and if the probate court determines that the will meets all the formal requirements, then the court distributes the estate, with the help of the will's executor.
If the person did not leave a valid will, the probate court distributes the estate according to Ohio's law of descent and distribution. Essentially, this means the court looks at the deceased person's family tree, finds the closest living relatives and distributes the estate to those people.
The process can take a lot of time, and that time means money, which comes out of the estate. As a result, the heirs receive less of their inheritance. In many cases, this system can also mean that the estate goes to distant relatives that the deceased hardly knew, while close loved ones are left with nothing.
A will is an essential part of everyone's estate plan. A skilled estate planning lawyer can also help you with other essential documents, including a power of attorney and an advanced health directive. Unlike a will, these documents can go into effect while you are still living.
It is never too early to start planning your estate. For skilled help with wills and trusts and more, call Friedman Law LLC at 216-452-0922. You can also contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friedman Law LLC also helps with probate, special needs planning, elder law and guardianship. We work with clients throughout Northeast Ohio, including Lake, Geauga, Summit and Cuyahoga counties. Read our blog Ohio Probate and Guardianship for more information.