Everything to Know About Wills
Posted in Probate & Estate Planning on March 1, 2022
The making of a Will is just one critical step in the creation of a successful estate plan. It is important to understand the different types of Wills and which one is right for you. Without a proper Will, you won’t have a say in what happens to your assets when you die.
Types of Wills
A simple will is one where you ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. You can name an Executor to control this distribution after your death. You can also decide who will be named guardian of your minor children.
Testamentary Trust Will
This can be referred to as a Trust within a Will. This type of Will designates those assets that will be distributed to minors can be held in a court-supervised Trust until the minor attains the age of 25.
A Living Will outlines someone’s wishes regarding medical care in the event that you are permanently unconscious or terminally ill. It serves as a notice to the physician of your end-of-life preferences regarding life-sustaining treatment. It also allows you to designate if you wish to be an organ donor. This document, along with a Power of Attorney for Health Care, is commonly known as Advanced Directives.
Why do you need a Will?
A Will can be created for a variety of reasons, but it is important that every adult has one in place. A Will ensures the planning of future assets, the nominations of guardianship over minors, the appointment of an Executor to administer your affairs, and the elimination of surety bonds that Administrators would have to pay.
What happens if someone dies without a Will?
Someone who dies without a legal Will, dies intestate. Meaning the court will appoint an Administrator to oversee the distribution of the estate. You will not be able to control the distribution of your assets. The distribution will be governed by Ohio law and is often very different from what the decedent may have wanted if they created a valid Will.
At what age can I make a Will?
In Ohio, anyone can create a will if they are over the age of 18, are of sound mind, and not under any form of undue influence
How long is a Will valid?
Once a legally binding Will is put into place, unless revoked, it can stand indefinitely. If someone creates a new Will, the previous Will is usually revoked.
What if I want to make changes in my existing Will?
Once an official Will is put into place, changes can be made by an attorney whenever needed. Assistance can be provided to thoroughly change any aspect of the Will that no longer remains the same. A strong estate plan is one that is reviewed every few years to ensure that the Will still meets one’s wishes.
Elk + Elk can help you prepare essential estate planning documents. We will listen to your concerns and customize a plan to meet your goals. Call Amy Papesh at 1-800-ELK-OHIO or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.