None of us likes to think about death, but it’s extremely important for every Ohio resident to make a will. Even if you don’t own a significant amount of property, it’s likely that you want to ensure that certain members of your family inherit particular items that are currently in your possession. Whether you’re concerned about financial assets, debts, real property, or even sentimental property, you’ll need a will to feel secure about what you’ll leave behind and to whom you’ll leave it. In other words, it’s essential to know the basics of drafting a will in Ohio.
What do you need to know about drafting a will? According to CNN News, most Americans don’t have all the facts about wills and probate. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when you’re thinking about writing your will.
Understand the Key Elements of Writing Your Will
Each state has different laws concerning will making. In Ohio, any person who is at least 18 years old and is “of sound mind and memory” is eligible to write a will. Under Ohio law, wills can be either handwritten or typewritten, and they generally must be signed by the testator in order to be valid.
It’s also important to understand how inheritances are defined in our state, and the witnessing requirements for a valid will. While many of these terms can be confusing, an experienced Cortland estate planning attorney can help you to understand the elements of a valid will and can assist you with drafting your document.
Consider All of Your Possessions
When Akron residents begin thinking about writing a will, many think about large assets such as a home or a retirement account. It’s important to remember that many of these bigger assets don’t always require that you have a will—many of them will automatically be passed to your spouse or to your children. For instance, your life insurance policy and your retirement account already have a beneficiary or beneficiaries listed. As such, it’s important to consider all of your possessions when you’re creating a will. In particular, think about smaller belongings or sentimental items that you want to ensure go to the right person. When you think ahead about these possessions, you’ll help to prevent disagreements among family members and ensure that the probate process goes smoothly.
Tell Someone You Trust Where to Locate Your Will
Don’t forget that the instructions in your will are only valuable if your family members and your executor can locate the document. Be sure to tell someone you trust where they can locate your will upon your death.
Work With an Experienced Aurora Trusts and Estates Attorney
While the most important part of making a will involves understanding how to properly draft a valid will, it’s also essential to have a dedicated estate planning lawyer with years of experience assisting Ohio residents.
You might think that you can simply draft your will on your own, particularly if you have only limited property that’s not worth a substantial amount of money. However, the laws that govern wills and probate in Ohio can be complicated and confusing. As such, it’s very important to discuss your situation with an Akron estate planning attorney.
Contact an Experienced Akron Estate Planning Lawyer
If you’re planning to make a will, you should contact a Warren estate planning lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Office of John C. Grundy, we can answer all of your questions about wills and probate in Ohio. Contact us today to learn more.