People in Columbus have been telling you for years that even if you think you do not have time to delve deep into your estate planning, you should at the very least write out a will. Why? The answer is the same as the one we here at The Law Offices of The Law Offices of Saia, Marrocco & Jensen Inc. have given past clients who came to us after discovering that their loved ones died without wills: Control. You spend the majority of your life working to acquire assets; imagine how frustrating you would feel if the control over who received them once you are gone is taken away from you and your family.
If you die intestate (without a will), that is what will happen. Rather than allowing your presumed heirs to fight over what they feel entitled to, the state has established its own guidelines regarding intestate succession. While you may agree with many of them, they will not allow considerations to be given to parties not directly related to you, such as friends, civic groups or charitable organizations.
Ohio’s intestates succession guidelines can be found in Section 2105.06 of the state’s Probate Code. They list the predetermined order of distribution to be:
- Your spouse
- Your issue (children and direct descendants)
- Your parents
- Your siblings (and their descendants)
- Your grandparents
- Your next of kin
If you have no surviving kin, your estate goes to your stepchildren and their descendants. If no such parties exists, it escheats to the state. The amount that your spouse, children or other relatives receive depends on whether how many of those parties are still living when you die. If you want to leave assets to non-relatives, you need to have a will stating that.
You can learn more about managing your estate by continuing to explore our site.