Estate planning is a must for all responsible adults because there can be some negative circumstances that arise if you die without an estate plan. Things do not just automatically fall into place. You have to state your wishes in a legally binding manner through the execution of a will or a trust to make sure that everything takes place in accordance with your wishes.
If you were to pass away without a will or a trust directing the transfer of your assets the condition of intestacy would be the result. The probate court handles estate matters. Because of this the probate court would be charged with the responsibility of sorting out the situation if you die without an estate plan.
Every state in the union has its own laws with regard to intestate succession. Generally speaking, your closest relative or relatives are going to be in line for inheritances under these succession rules. Let’s take a look at some of the details of the intestate succession rules here in the state of Ohio.
If you do not have a spouse at the time of your death, but you do in fact have children, your children would inherit the entirety of your intestate property.
If your parents have passed away and you have no children, your spouse would inherit everything. If you have no spouse and no descendants but you have living parents your parents would be the sole heirs to your intestate property.
In the state of Ohio, if you leave behind a surviving spouse, and your only children are with that spouse, your spouse would inherit the entirety of your estate.
Should you have children from someone other than your surviving spouse, these children would get a percentage of your intestate property, and your spouse would get a percentage.
When you are examining intestate succession laws you may wonder what would happen to your property if you were to die without any living relatives at all. This is an interesting question.
The state would attempt to find any blood relatives that may be out there. However, if no relatives come forward and none are found within a prescribed time period the state of Ohio would absorb your assets under escheat rules.
Most people are going to have wishes that differ from the intestate succession laws. It is not difficult to put an estate plan in place if you work with a licensed Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
When you go forward with a proper estate plan in place you gain a certain peace of mind. Your assets will be distributed in precise accordance with your wishes after you pass away, and the laws of the state will not dictate terms.