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Dayton, Ohio Probate and Business Law Blog

Probate includes filing the will and starting an estate

After the testator of a will in Ohio dies and leaves assets in the form of bank accounts, getting to those accounts may be necessary early to pay for the funeral and related expenses, such as a funeral dinner. However, it will be necessary for the next of kin to show certain preliminary identification documents. Prior to setting up probate for a formal estate, money can be obtained from bank accounts by the estate's personal representative who is designated in the will.

This works by showing the will, and the preliminary grant of letters made to the person appointed in the will. This will apply to small emergency needs for the same purposes, such as funeral bills or last expenses. The bank or financial company can usually rely on basic state identification, along with the preliminary issuance of letters from the court.

Estate planning tools can protect assets from child's ex-spouse

While a parent will typically want to see his or her assets go to a child, seeing those assets go instead to the child's ex-spouse in a bitter divorce is generally going to be anathema to the parent. A child's ex-spouse can get in the way of what the decedent clearly wanted, which was to keep his or her assets in the family. There are estate planning techniques that may be implemented in Ohio to make sure that the person's assets go to the right persons.

One way to assure that a spouse will not end up with part of a child's assets is through a prenuptial agreement. This is a valid, negotiated contract that takes place at or just before the marriage is consummated. When a child has announced intentions to get married, that child's parent may gently suggest that the child obtain a prenuptial agreement with the soon-to-be spouse. This can keep the parent's assets strictly in the hands of the child and not ultimately transferred into the hands of an ex-spouse. 

Is estate planning even right for me?

A will is an incredibly important and often overlooked tool. This document can provide a wide array of protections and benefits, but many in Ohio still eschew the estate planning process, viewing it as something for only the rich or very wealthy. A comprehensive will is not reliant on a certain number of valuable assets, and can be used by virtually everyone to create the best estate plan possible, easing the burden for loved ones left behind.

After a person's death, his or her estate will almost always proceed through the probate process, during which assets will be valued, debts will be paid and the remaining estate will be passed out. Wills provide the basic instructions for probate, making the process run more quickly and easily. A will can also provide different protections throughout life.

Are 'heroic measures’ in your healthcare directive right for you?

An unexpected cardiac arrest, sudden illness or life-threatening accident can be the split second that changes the life you knew and a future you never planned for. When serious medical issues come up, and you and your loved ones are suddenly facing end-of-life care decisions, you may not fully understand just what these decisions entail.

A physician at Massachusetts General Hospital recently shared a compelling story about how end of life care can honestly look for a patient and their quality of life afterward. While healthcare directives and the idea of someone passing away will never be easy to think about or easy discussions to have, it is essential that you discuss them and have your wishes known.

Understanding the probate process

In the estate planning process, most discussion about probate is about how to avoid it. Many people feel that the best way to deal with the probate process is to avoid it as much as possible.

Although probate has gotten a negative reputation, it is not necessarily a negative process. It is important to be informed about the probate process so that you can make the plan that is best for you, your family, and your estate.

How to defend against accusations of undue influence

As of 2016, it was found that a majority of Americans do not have a will, and that number seems to be on the decline, according to data from Gallup News. While 51 percent of Americans had a will in 2005, only 44 percent had a will at the time of the survey. 

Writing a will can be stressful, but things can become even more stressful after the person's death. Living relatives may fight over whether the will is legitimate, and this can produce accusations of undue influence. Anyone who finds her or himself on the wrong side of these accusations needs to fight them. 

How do you protect your assets from the probate process?

Every estate will go through the probate process when it is administered. But not every estate has to have all of their assets go through that process. Protecting your hard earned property and assets from the probate process is a critical step to saving your beneficiaries and loved ones painful and extended probate litigation, as well as preserving the value of your estate.

So what can you do to achieve this? Here are a few simple measures that you can utilize to avoid the probate process:

Are holographic wills legal in Ohio?

Suppose a disaster strikes, sudden injury or illness affects your family, or a loved one is trapped and alone—in emergency situations like this, a holographic will may be the only option left for many people. A holographic will is one that is entirely handwritten by the person creating it and done without a lawyer involved. These are usually signed by the person who made it, but in some states, they are still legally binding when not signed.

In Ohio, a holographic will does need to be signed to be considered legal, but handwritten wills are acceptable as long as they meet other specific criteria. If you discover a loved one has written a will by hand, or if you need to write your will in this manner, you need to make sure it meets these standards to hold up in court.

Is a business law lawyer right for your company?

One day you may sit back and realize your lifelong dream has come true: you started a company and successfully survived the scrappy, often tricky first years of business. Now that things are finally slowing down and getting a bit easier, the fear starts to creep in that all your hard work could disappear one day.

Lawsuits, monetary issues, disgruntled employees, failing to plan for business succession and other legal matters can be the culprit of small to medium businesses taking a turn for the worse. If you’re unsure if a business law-focused lawyer is necessary for your company, you should ask yourself some questions.

For business owners, a succession plan can be a critical part of preparing for retirement

Retirement can feel like a very far off thing as one is knee-deep in the everyday activities of running a business. This may lead some business owners to assume that their retirement is something they don’t really need to think about now.

However, putting off planning for their retirement could endanger a small business owner’s ability to one day have the retirement they desire. So, making preparations for their future retirement can be very important for business owners.

  • Ohio State Bar Association | Connect.Advance.Succeed
  • Federal Bar Association | ORG Jan 5th 1920
  • Dayton Bar Association 1883
  • Super Lawyers
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