Ohio Will Writing
Why Do I Need a Wills Attorney in Ohio?Regardless of your age or health, having a valid and legally binding will is extremely important to you and your loved ones. If you want to have power over who gets your assets, it’s essential to write a will. You can make things easier on your family and friends by planning with a will and working with our trusted Columbus wills lawyer who will create a roadmap for your assets after your death.
- At Sheppard Law Offices, we’re committed to helping local clients resolve a wide range of legal problems focusing on bankruptcy, taxation, probate, estate planning, and family law.
- We have extensive knowledge of wills, living wills, trusts, and other important estate planning tools, and we work closely with clients to develop an estate plan that best suits them.
- Our estate planning law firm can guide you swiftly through this challenging legal and procedural experience.
- We are committed to providing skilled representation and legal assistance to individuals, families, and businesses in Columbus, Newark, Mt. Vernon, and Canton.
- We take the time to listen and understand the unique needs of our clients, and we put our in-depth experience to work to create the right estate plan to address your needs.
What is a Will?A will is considered the foundation of an estate plan because it allows you to specify your final wishes regarding the distribution of your estate. A person who creates a will (testator) can have peace of mind knowing that the will’s instructions will be honored. Without a valid will, the court makes these decisions on your behalf according to Ohio’s intestate succession laws, which may go against your intentions. A knowledgeable Columbus wills attorney can help you understand the importance of creating a will as part of your estate plan. Wills can be powerful estate planning tools. In general, a will let you:
- Name your executor (the person who manages your estate)
- Name a guardian for minor children
- Make special provisions for a specific property or people
- Serve as a backup to a living trust
- Give specific property to specific people
- Decide how debts and taxes will be paid
- Disinherit someone
- Provide for charities or individuals outside of your immediate family
What Makes a Will Valid?When drafting a will, you must follow legal formalities to ensure validity and prevent a will contest during probate. The conditions that make a will valid may differ from state to state. However, the basic requirements for a will to be valid are fairly consistent across jurisdictions. Additional requirements vary depending on where you are, so it’s best to seek legal advice from a skilled Columbus wills attorney to help you know your state’s procedures and prerequisites for wills. Here are some key points that make a will legal:
- The testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.
- The will must be in writing and signed by the testator.
- The will must be attested and signed by two or more competent witnesses in the conscious presence of the testator.
How Do I Write a Will?While the rules for making a will vary from state to state, certain formalities must be met. Although you can write a will on your own, it’s best to consult with a competent Columbus OH estate planning attorney to make sure it is properly written and executed.
Decide what property to include in your willTo get started, make a list of your property and significant assets that you want to include in your will. Think of everything that you own, including vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, personal property, life insurance, and retirement accounts. Decide which assets you want to give through your will and which assets will be transferred by other methods.
Decide who will inherit your property
A beneficiary of a will is a person or organization who will receive a gift of property through the will. You can choose which items you give to each beneficiary. After you make your first choices, you may choose alternate or contingent beneficiaries, in case your first choices don’t survive you.
Choose an executor to handle your estate
One of the most important people addressed in a will is the executor or the personal representative. Once the testator dies and the will becomes active, the executor must carry out the testator’s instructions. The executor oversees the probate process, the distribution of your assets, and the payment of your taxes and debts.
Choose a guardian for your children
In creating a will, you can name a legal guardian to care for your minor children and other dependents when you pass away. By naming a trusted guardian for your children, you will help ensure that they are well-cared for in a worst-case scenario. Your named guardian will have legal custody of your child and will manage your child’s housing, food, healthcare, and education.
Choose someone to manage the children’s property
Minor children also need a trustee or someone to manage the assets they receive through a will. Like an executor, this person should be responsible and trustworthy.
Make your will
When it comes to writing a will, you have several choices. You can hire a lawyer, use a statutory form, or make a will on your own.
Sign your will in front of witnesses
For a will to be legally valid, it must be executed properly. After writing your will, you’ll need to sign it in the presence of at least two witnesses.
Store your will safely
You must ensure that your will is in a safe and accessible place, and share the location with your executor. You can keep it with other important documents in a place your family would look for it.
Call Our Experienced Ohio Wills Attorney Now!Writing a last will and testament isn’t just for the wealthy. Planning what you want to happen to your property and money when you die can give you peace of mind so you can go about your daily life without worrying about the future. A will may be the most essential legal document that you’ll ever write because it allows you to select the persons who will receive what you own when you pass away. Even if you draft your own will, it is a good idea to have our seasoned Columbus estate planning attorneys at Sheppard Law Offices review the will to ensure its validity and its compliance with the state’s laws. Our estate planning law firm can also advise you whether you should consider a comprehensive estate plan which includes additional estate planning documents, such as a power of attorney, trust, and advance directive. Contact our law office now and schedule a free initial consultation with our Ohio estate planning attorneys.
Our Estate Planning Attorneys Serve the Following Areas
Sheppard Law Offices, Co., L.P.A. serves individuals, families, and small businesses throughout central Ohio and the state of Ohio. With estate planning and probate offices in the following.
We represent clients in several counties in Ohio, including Franklin County, Delaware County, Licking County, Knox County, Stark County, and Summit County, as well as in communities such as Columbus, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Newark, Granville, Utica, Mount Vernon, Massillon, Medina, Barberton, Dover, and New Philadelphia.
Our Columbus Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help!
Sheppard Law Office can make the estate planning process easy for you. Available across any of our four Ohio locations in Columbus, Mt Vernon and Newark, our team of probate, estate planning, and tax attorneys can offer you clear and compassionate legal advice seasoned by decades of practical experience and a deep understanding of Ohio inheritance laws.
Contact Sheppard Law Offices today for a free consultation.