When you are making an estate plan, you need to understand how wills and probate law work to allow your loved ones to inherit after you are gone. Those whose loved one has passed away also need to know how the law works regarding an inheritance so they will understand what to expect during the probate process.
Zimmer Law Firm provides invaluable assistance with the estate planning process to those who want to make certain their family can inherit assets in a timely manner. Under wills and probate law, it could actually take many months for your family to inherit, which can be a big problem if you are the family breadwinner and you are counting on an inheritance that you leave behind to provide enough money for your loved ones to live on when you are gone.
Our legal team can assist you in finding alternatives to a will that both make it faster for your family to receive their inheritance and which could ensure that no part of an inheritance is lost due to estate tax. We also provide representation to families going through the probate process to help them inherit as quickly as possible. Give us a call today to talk with an Ohio probate lawyer to find out more.
How do Wills and Probate Law Affect a Family’s Inheritance?
Under probate law in Ohio, most estates must be probated after a person has died, unless advanced plans have been made to ensure that few or no assets pass through probate. The probate process requires going to court. According to Investopedia, this process can take around a year or so to complete, but sometimes can take even longer. During this time, those who may be counting on an inheritance are not going to have access to the assets which have been left to them.
The probate process also costs money, with Investopedia estimating costs at around three to seven percent of the estate. If estate tax has to be paid out of the estate, this can substantially reduce the balance of an inheritance even further.
The executor of an estate is responsible for managing estate assets during the probate process as well, and sometimes a loss in value of estate assets occurs even when an executor fulfills his duties simply as a result of uncertainty during the probate process or because an executor does not have the same level of skill in asset management as new owners. For example, if the inheritance involves a family business, the company could decline in value during the months that the probate process takes because the new owners are not able to assume full control.
So, all of this means that wills and probate law can result in an inheritance that takes months or years to get to new owners, and an inheritance that could possibly lose value… and this is when things go correctly. If a will is contested, then it is possible costs will rise significantly and the intended heirs or beneficiaries could lose their inheritance altogether!
Making Wills and Probate Law Work for You
You do not have to force your family to go through probate after your death. There are legal tools that you can use to essentially opt out of probate by transferring assets in other ways. For example, you could use various types of trusts to facilitate the transfer of assets through trust administration instead of through the probate process. Trusts can help you to avoid estate tax and can make it possible for assets to transfer outside of probate court in a matter of weeks instead of months.
There are also other estate planning tools like pay on death accounts, joint ownership, and inter vivos gifts to consider. Zimmer Law Firm can discuss all of your options with you and help you to come to the right decisions on the best way to make wills and probate law work for you.
Getting Help from A Wills and Probate Law Attorney
Zimmer Law Firm provides assistance with estate planning and with the probate process in Ohio. Our legal team can advise and guide you if you wish to make an estate plan that opts out of probate and allows your loved ones to inherit in a more efficient way.
We also represent an executor of an estate, heirs or beneficiaries, and those contesting a will during the probate process. Give us a call at 513.721.1513 today to find out about how our legal team can help you or download our estate planning checklist to find out more about estate planning and the probate process.