Lexis Nexis claims that 55% of American adults do not have a last will and testament or some kind of an estate plan. This means that more than half of American estates have their personal assets pass via intestacy - without a will and pursuant to the statutory scheme of the state where they live.
The main benefit a person loses when they fail to execute a last will and testament is the ability to nominate executors to administer their estate after death. This fiduciary will do everything from collect the decedent's assets, pay the decedent's debts, file the required documents with the probate court, and distribute the assets in accordance with the decedent's final wishes.
Executing a will with a nominated executor and setting out the distribution of your assets is a fail-safe should any assets require probate upon your death. While many assets such as bank accounts, life insurance, and other investments will pass outside of probate via beneficiary/joint ownership designations made with the financial institution, anything left solely in your name (most often cars, houses, and other miscellaneous items) will be part of your estate and likely require probate to address. Should you pass away with any personal debts (medical expenses, funeral costs, etc.), your executor should use the probate assets to pay your creditors.
Reminger Co., LPA attorneys can help you plan for an array of scenarios. Whether your goals are maximizing Medicaid benefits, tax planning, or setting up protection for minor children/family members with special needs, we can tailor an estate plan for your specific needs.
Please do not hesitate to contact a Reminger attorney about the various estate planning and elder law services that our probate department offers.
- Changes to Ohio’s Rules of Civil Procedure Effective July 1, 2020
- Mediation: An Alternative Approach to Estate and Trust Controversies in the Time of Coronavirus
- You Can Count on Reminger During These Uncertain Times
- Ohio’s Response to COVID-19 Impacting Probate/Trust Law and the Courts
- Estate Planning in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- In re Estate of Shaffer – Does the Voiding Statute Apply to Non-Conforming Wills?
- Adam M. Fried Scheduled to Speak at 2020 The Ohio American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Fellow Meeting
- Timothy Gallagher and Paul Shugar Author Article for January/February 2020 Issue of Probate Law Journal of Ohio
- Attorney Ethics Investigation Uncovers Financial Abuse
- Franklin Malemud Authors Article for November/December 2019 Issue of Probate Law Journal of Ohio