An Ohio resident should consider many factors when choosing an executor for their estate. When managing an estate, the executor will have many responsibilities, such as inventorying assets, verifying liabilities and submitting the necessary legal documents to courts. Additional duties often include the filing of tax returns, the valuation of assets and acting as an arbitrator during family disagreements.
Some people in Ohio may be aware that probate is the process a will goes through after the death of the person who created it, but they might not know all the steps involved. First, the will must be authenticated by a judge. Most wills name an executor to manage the estate. This person might also be referred to as the administrator or personal representative. If no one is named, the judge may appoint someone.
Ohio residents who are named the executor of an estate have many responsibilities. Fortunately, those who are unable or unwilling to fulfill the role may ask to be replaced. However, staying organized and asking for help when necessary may make the role easier to handle. Individuals who choose to undertake and fulfill their role as executors may find that they won't get much done without copies of a death certificate.
Ohio residents who are creating an estate plan might want to consider including a power of attorney. A power of attorney gives a person the ability to act as another person's agent in financial or legal matters.
After an individual passes, that person's estate may need to go through probate. In Ohio, estates worth $35,000 or less may be relieved from some of the administrative requirements. That number increases to $100,000 if a surviving spouse inherits all of a deceased person's assets. Probate is necessary as it allows an executor to protect and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries.
People in Ohio who have been appointed executors of their parents' estates assume several responsibilities. Those who find out ahead of time that they will be the executors have an advantage because they still have time to communicate with their parents regarding their final wishes. Someone who has been designated as an executor should confirm his or her parent's desires, clarify any uncertainties and find out how much other family members know about the estate plan. He or she should also know where the will and any other important financial documents are located.
Ohio fans of singer Bobby Vee may be interested in learning that his four children are arguing over his estate. The singer, born Robert Velline, died from Alzheimer's on Oct. 24, 2016, shortly after a play based on his life story premiered at the St. Paul History Theater. This stage production and its earnings are the subjects of a petition filed by two of Vee's children.
Although it may be easy to put off estate planning, failing to address one's end-of-life wishes for the management of assets could leave those assets in control of the Ohio probate system. The state uses probate as an avenue for legally assessing the value of an estate and for determining how the relevant assets will be distributed to those entitled to inherit them in the absence of a will. While this might seem reasonable, the challenge is that those handling these matters may need to pay fees from the estate. Further, the recipients of assets according to intestacy law may be different from those that the decedent intended. Even with a valid will, the probate process can drag out.
While a DIY project may be less costly than having a professional do it, it may not be the best way to go about it. Probate is generally one of those projects that an individual may want to leave to a professional. This is because there are up to 130 different statutes to learn and understand, multiple pleadings and legal documents to complete and high possibilities of being liable to both heirs and creditors.
If you or a loved one needs Medicaid services in Ohio, new changes to the law can affect your eligibility. As of July 2016, Ohio residents earning over a monthly income cap must create a Miller Trust to continue receiving needed services.