If you do not plan your estate, you will die intestate. Intestacy is the condition of dying without leaving behind any instructions with regard to the distribution of your remaining property.
Let’s look at the way that your property would be transferred if you die intestate in Cincinnati, Ohio.
No Will, No Relatives
Let’s say that you do not execute a last will or any other estate planning document. You pass away in possession of property, but you have no blood relatives still living.
If you die intestate without any relatives the state could absorb your assets under escheat laws. The state would attempt to locate any living blood relatives that may exist. However, if no one came forward, and no one could be found, the intestate property would become the property of the state after a prescribed period of time.
There is no reason to allow this to take place unless you are passionate about supporting the state. It is likely that there is someone in your life who has shown you some type of kindness. Short of this, there are very worthy charities that can always use donations.
You should certainly plan your estate and record your final wishes with regard to the distribution of your property, even if you have no blood relatives.
Intestate Succession Laws
If you do have blood relatives and you die intestate, your property will ultimately be distributed using intestate succession laws.
The probate court would take charge of the matter, so the distributions would not take place overnight. Interested parties could come forward, and the court would be charged with the responsibility of sorting everything out.
You have to understand the fact that final debts must be paid before the heirs to the estate would receive inheritances. During probate creditors will be given an opportunity to come forward seeking satisfaction.
After debts are paid, the property would be distributed using these intestate succession laws.
Intestate succession laws vary slightly state-by-state. In Ohio, if you have a spouse but no living children or parents, your spouse would inherit everything. If you have descendents but no living spouse, your descendents would inherit everything.
Your spouse would inherit everything if you had children that were descended from you and this spouse. If you have children from another relationship, they would receive a portion of your estate with your surviving spouse also receiving a portion.
Estate planning is a must for all responsible adults. Simply leaving everything up to the state after you die is really not an option if you are a serious minded individual.
Many people don’t know where to begin. If you are among them, we invite you to contact our firm to request a consultation.