Will and Testament
Will and Testament
In Ohio, your last will and testament is often referred to as simply your will. Your will can help protect your property and your family when you pass. You can use a will to:
What happens if I never make a will?
In Ohio, if you pass away without a will, your property will be distributed to your heirs based on inheritance laws. Ohio leaves your property to the first living closest relative. Ohio’s laws follow a set pattern for inheritance starting with and proceeding to: your spouse; you children; your grandchildren; your parents; your grandparents; your siblings; and so on.
There are even further relationships that will be looked at if you have none of the above listed surviving relatives. If the probate court goes through this entire list and finds that you have no living relatives, the state will receive your property. An easy way to think about the dying without a Will, Ohio succession law is “Down, Up, then Out”. You start by going “down” on the family tree; your children inherit from you first.
If you don’t have children, then it goes “up” and your parents inherit. If your parents are gone, then it goes “out” to your siblings, then aunts/uncles, then cousins, and so on.
What is Will?
A will is a written document expressing a deceased person’s wishes, to provide for a spouse, children, other loved ones, and pets after their death as well as to name a personal representative for the estate. A will becomes active only after one’s death. Wills are required to go through the probate process where a court administrator examines the will. This process has the potential to be lengthy if family members contest the will. A living will provides instructions should you become incapacitated and incapable of making decisions regarding your medical care.