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When an Ohio resident dies, there is likely to be property that family members must decide how to divide. There might not be a will, or there might be items of personal property that is not mentioned in the will.

Heirs may want to get an appraisal of property. This way, when they reach an agreement about how to divide it, there may be adjustments that take into account the value of some of the property. For example, one person might take valuable jewelry in lieu of less cash. However, even with property that has sentimental but not actual significant value, one heir might pay another in order to keep the property. There are a number of other creative financial solutions to distributing property using buyouts and trading. Even if the will specifies that a person should only receive a certain percentage of monetary distributions, this can be changed in negotiations as long as the other heirs agree to it.

If heirs cannot reach an agreement on how to distribute property, the probate court will step in. The court might force a sale of property that heirs cannot agree on, and the proceeds from the sale would then be distributed among the heirs.

There are a number of ways people might reduce the likelihood of disputes over an estate. They might discuss the estate plan with loved ones and explain the rationale behind certain choices. Some people prefer to give away some items while still alive. A person who is concerned about how beneficiaries will use assets might want to consider creating a trust. A trust can restrict when beneficiaries receive distributions and tie those distributions to certain milestones or achievements such as reaching a certain age or finishing college.