Those who have lost a loved one must deal with emotional stress and make sure that the estate is handled properly. The estate executor is now responsible for inventorying assets, making sure taxes and debts are paid and that the assets left in the estate are distributed to their intended recipients. In most cases, the last will and testament of the deceased will dictate how assets are distributed.
When an Ohio resident passes away without a valid will, the state will take on the responsibility of making one. This process is known as intestate succession, and its purpose is to distribute a decedent's assets in a way that resembles the average estate plan. Even if existing evidence makes it clear that a decedent wanted their wealth to be distributed in a certain fashion, no exceptions to the intestate succession process will be made.
Estate planning is already a very complex area of law, but imagine the following scenario. A married couple signed a prenuptial agreement before they got married, and they have lived happily together for many years. Now that they are getting older, they are getting more involved in sculpting their estate plans. As a result, they are thinking about a variety of issues and they want them to be addressed in wills, through trusts, and various other elements of the ultimate estate plan.
A recent business article in a national publication focuses upon smart estate administration moves, especially for the many millions of baby boomers who should now be thinking about steps to proactively take to promote their best interests in estate planning.
As experienced and client-empathetic Ohio attorneys who help individuals and families optimally promote estate planning objectives, we sometimes find ourselves -- and understandably so -- explaining what sound estate administration is all about.