Category: Estate Planning & Probate

The Importance of Depositing a Will with Probate- An Important Change in the Law


Under Ohio law, if a beneficiary (a person entitled to inherit property) under a Last Will and Testament, with the power to control a will withholds it from probate for one year after the death of the testator (the person whose will it was) intentionally and without reasonable cause, the property devised (to be inherited) by the beneficiary will pass as if the beneficiary had predeceased the testator.

What that means in a nut shell is that if you are holding onto a Last Will and Testament, of your mother or father for instance, and he or she dies and you don’t deposit the Will with probate court within… Read the rest

Important Change to the Ohio Transfers to Minors Acts (OTMA)


Effective April 6, 2017, parents and grandparents and other individuals seeking to leave property to minor children can now delay delivery of property to minors until the age of 25 pursuant to the Ohio Transfers to Minors Act (OTMA).

So why does that matter?

The Ohio Transfers to Minors Act allows people to leave property to a custodian to manage and distribute property for a minor child’s benefit.  Prior to the law, if you wanted to leave property to a minor, it would require either a guardian to be appointed by probate court to manage the funds, and the costs and filing requirements of that arrangement,… Read the rest

4 Tips to Avoid a Will Contest


A Will Contest is a court action brought by the next of kin, or beneficiary in a previous Will, who is seeking to have a Will rejected by a Court.  Will contests generally arise when the individual was left out of the Will or received less from the Will than he anticipated.

A Will Contest can be both emotionally and financially taxing to an estate and the representative, family members and heirs involved.  A testator, the person creating a will, should consider what he can do to avoid such a challenge.

The question then is, what can be done to minimize the chances of a will contest. The following are… Read the rest

What Happens if you Die Without a Will?


There are 4 significant effects of dying without a will.

  1. The state will decide who inherits your estate. In Ohio, your assets will go to your next of kin as set out in the law of descent and distribution.It is worthwhile to note that, even if you die intestate, property subject to a beneficiary designation will go to the person whom you have designated in such provision, in spite of what is otherwise provided under Ohio law. Below is a summary of Ohio’s statute of descent and distribution.
  • If you die with no children and you are married, your spouse is entitled to everything.
  • If you die with no spouse,
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6 Important Estate Planning Tools for Unmarried Couples


It is perhaps more important for unmarried couples to have an estate plan in place than it is for married couples.  Unlike married couples, unmarried couples have no right to the probate property of a deceased spouse, including the right to remain in the residence for a duration of time, receive a spousal allowance, receive a vehicle and at least a portion of the estate.  Indeed, your unmarried partner, like any other person who is not your spouse or is otherwise unrelated to you, has no right to your property.  Thus, for an individual to pass on property to his unmarried partner, it is not just … Read the rest