A recent survey conducted by Rocket Lawyer indicates that 57% of adults do not have a Last Will and Testament. The same survey determined that 32% of Americans would rather prepare their taxes, get a root canal, or give up sex for a month than create or update their Will. Is preparing your Will that bad?
We don’t like to think so, especially if you consider the alternatives. In Ohio, if you pass away without a Will, the State essentially prepares one for you by enforcing the intestacy statute. The law will distribute your assets equally to your children at your death if you do not have a living spouse. This is especially troublesome if you have a child dependent on public benefits (the inheritance could jeopardize their Medicaid, Waiver, or SSI eligibility) or if your child is not capable of managing assets. If you are survived by your spouse, and that spouse is also the parent of all of your children, then the spouse receives your entire estate. If your surviving spouse is not the adoptive or natural parent of one or more of your children, then a formula is imposed to divide the estate among your spouse and eligible children. The state will continue to go up and down the family tree to find an heir, and in rare cases where there is not an heir, the estate will “escheat,” or be distributed, to the state.
Sometimes a spouse doesn’t want to leave all of their assets to their surviving spouse or children, especially if their surviving spouse or child is in a nursing home, disabled, or unable to manage the assets. We work with the elderly and people of any age with disabilities, and their loved ones, to help determine how assets can be distributed at the owner’s death. This is accomplished by a Will, beneficiary designations, and other estate planning documents.
So cancel that voluntary root canal appointment and make time to review your estate plans today!
- Posted by Amanda Buzo