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Even though a will is the most basic document in an estate plan, only about a third of all adults in the United States have a will. Many people without a will or an estate plan of any kind claim they don’t have enough assets to warrant a will. This is a common misconception—that only the super-rich can benefit from an estate plan. Individuals who survived a case of Covid are more likely to have a will than those who did not. The number of 18-34 year-olds who have chosen to implement estate planning since the pandemic began has increased by about 50 percent, but the pandemic didn’t seem to have much effect on estate planning among older adults.
While only a third of all U.S. adults have a will, more than half believe it is important—they just haven’t gotten around to it. Having a will is about so much more than simply the value of your assets. It is about ensuring your loved ones are taken care of following your death. The last thing you want is to leave those you care about with a financial and legal mess when they should be allowed the time to grieve. If you are considering a will or an entire estate plan, the attorneys at Lovett & House are waiting to help ensure you get all your questions answered in a comprehensive manner.
If you are a resident of Englewood, OH you are aware of all the benefits and beauty in the area. Englewood, with about 14,000 residents, is a suburb of Dayton located in Montgomery County. The early settlers—many of them from North Carolina—to the area made their living from agriculture. Grain, bacon, and more agricultural items were shipped on flat-bottom boats to Dayton, and as far south as New Orleans. Industry, in the form of sawmills, gunsmithing, wine distilleries, and pottery manufacturing soon followed.
The Native Americans in the area traded with the settlers with little to no hostility between them. After going through three different names, Englewood was finally settled on, and the village of Englewood was incorporated in 1914. Englewood later became a city in 1971. While Englewood can be an idyllic place to live, adults in the area—like adults across the United States—need wills and estate plans. Having a strong legal advocate like Lovett & House in your corner can make the process as simple and non-stressful as possible.
Why Choose an Englewood Wills Attorney from Lovett & House?
When you choose Lovett & House to prepare your will or other estate planning documents, you have chosen a firm with more than 100 positive Google reviews. We have extensive experience in estate planning and are always abreast of any new Ohio or federal laws that could affect your estate plan. At Lovett & House, we specialize in wills and estate planning and can answer all your questions and concerns regarding your will.
We offer a free five-minute initial consultation to allow you to get a “feel” for our firm and how we do business. Attorney George Lovett is certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law by the Ohio State Bar Association. Our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to create a comprehensive will for you—or even a same-day emergency will for those in special situations.
What Are the Ohio Requirements for a Will?
For your will to be valid in the state of Ohio, you must be at least 18 years of age at the time you sign the will and must be of sound mind and body. This means you have a full understanding of what it means to make a will and are not doing so under duress of any kind. Your decision to execute a will cannot be the result of coercion, or improper persuasion by another person or persons. An Ohio will must be in physical form—in writing or typed and printed out. While a digital copy of your will could certainly be saved on a computer, there must be a hard copy for it to be considered valid.
There are only a few limited circumstances in which the state of Ohio recognizes an oral will—usually only if the will-maker is dying and does not have the time to prepare a physical will. The will must be signed in the presence of at least two competent witnesses, who will also sign the will. The witnesses must be at least 18 years old and should be “disinterested” parties, meaning they have nothing to gain from the contents of your will.
Notarization of your will is not required in the state. Handwritten wills are acceptable, however, a handwritten will must satisfy all the same conditions as a typed will. You will name an executor in your will who will manage your probate estate and carry out the wishes in your will. The executor must be at least 18 years old, and of sound mind. For practical reasons, your executor should live in Ohio, but this is not a legal requirement.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Will?
Should you die without a will, the state will determine how your assets are distributed. Under Ohio law, if you leave a surviving spouse and no children, that spouse will receive your entire estate. If you have no spouse, but you have children, your estate will be divided equally between the children, both natural and adopted. If you leave a spouse and children, the spouse and all of the offspring have the right to inherit. If you have no spouse and no children, your parents are next in line to inherit; if your parents are not living, then brothers and sisters are next. Only if you have no siblings are more distant relatives like aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins next in line. If no living relatives can be located, the state of Ohio could inherit all your assets, but this happens very rarely.
Do You Need a Will if You Have a Trust?
While a trust can often address many issues a will cannot, there is one specific situation in which a will is important —even if you have a trust. If you have minor children, a will is the standard document that nominates a guardian for them. Since this is a huge issue—and cannot be addressed in a trust, a will typically is the instrument that addresses guardianship of your minor children. Few parents would be okay without saying who they would want to raise their children, so having a will in this situation is crucial.
How Can an Experienced Englewood Will Attorney from Lovett & House Help?
It is important that you not continue putting off making a will. Plan for the future, then sit back and relax, knowing you have taken care of those you love. Call Lovett & House today for the help you need to set your will and estate plan in motion. We are eager to hear from you and answer any questions that have been troubling you. Our attorneys are knowledgeable, experienced, and highly skilled. We are also relatable and easy to talk to. Contact Lovett & House today to have a will prepared that accurately reflects your unique concerns.