Most people who are chosen to be executors of a loved one's estate aren't estate planning attorneys. However, they have legal obligations under Ohio probate laws. You don't want to run afoul of those laws.
An executor is someone who the testator (the person drafting a will) appoints to pay their final debts, preserve the value of their assets and to distribute those assets upon their death. Estate planning attorneys generally advise their clients to pick someone who is both trustworthy and responsible for this role. When the executor fails to do what they're supposed to, their beneficiaries may ask a judge to have them removed from their role.
Individuals draft health care directives to clearly spell the types of medications or life-saving care that they'd want to receive if they became unable to verbalize those same decisions for themselves.
In trying to plan around potential estate disputes, you realize that children probably are not going to fight over money. You plan to split it all up equally.
While being asked to be an executor of someone's estate is something that most will only be asked to do once or twice during their lifetime, it's a role that carries with it a tremendous responsibility. When you're appointed to the role, it's your responsibility to handle everything regarding an estate from locating and filing a decedent's will with the probate court to paying final expenses.
For many people, the first step in estate planning is simply writing a will. As important as this is, that will may not stand up in a court challenge if your heirs contest it. Below are four different reasons they may do so:
Some estate administrators face extraordinary challenges administering the estates they oversee. Battles among heirs can erupt and factions can form among the survivors. A relative who is left out of the estate proceeds can challenge the will and delay the probate process as the case wends its way through the court system.
Many people include trusts in their estate planning to include their loved ones and descendants in their wealth more easily. Trusts can handle large assets in more manageable ways than simply leaving them to heirs in wills. Assets in trusts can be more useful and less liable to excessive taxation.
Your mother's will feels like a punch in the gut. You find out, without any prior warning, that 90 percent of the family estate is going to your brother. That includes a family home, a vacation home, two cars and a nice lump sum of money that can be used to fund an early retirement.
When a loved one dies, sometimes relatives are shocked to learn that they have been left out of the will. While their feelings of anger and confusion can be completely understandable, people have the right to do as they see fit with their money and possessions, both in life and in death.