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Wills Attorney Serving Findlay, Ohio

Crafting a blueprint for your future isn't just a legal task—it's a personal journey. It's about leaving a lasting legacy, protecting your loved ones, and ensuring your wishes are honored. As your attorney at Robert E. Schuck Attorney at Law, I bring 30 years of experience to the table, helping you create a personalized will document that lays out your needs and best interests.

When you entrust me with preparing your will, you won't get a one-size-fits-all document. You'll receive a carefully-crafted testament that truly reflects your life, values, and wishes. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation, and let's take the first step toward securing your family's future.  

Overview of Wills

A will, formally known as a "last will and testament," is a legal document that articulates your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any minor children upon your death. It serves as a critical tool for estate planning, allowing you to specify heirs to your properties, nominate guardians for your children, and dictate the terms for the management of your estate. Having a clear, legally-binding will in place is essential to make sure your wishes are honored and disputes among your surviving family members are minimized.  

Types of Wills

There are several types of wills you can consider when planning your estate: 

  • Simple Will: This is the most straightforward form of a will where you detail how your assets should be distributed and name an executor to oversee the process. It's ideal for those with simple estates.  

  • Testamentary Trust Will: This type of will includes provisions for setting up a trust upon your death. It's particularly beneficial if you want to provide for minor children or beneficiaries with special needs, as it allows for a more controlled distribution of your assets.  

  • Living Will: Though not a will in the traditional sense of dictating asset distribution, a living will is essential for outlining your healthcare wishes should you become incapable of making decisions due to incapacitation.  

Each type of will serves a unique purpose, addressing the different aspects of estate planning. Selecting the right one is a foundational step to make sure your legacy is honored in the way you intend it to be.  

Contents of a Will

The contents of your will should include specific instructions on how you want your assets to be distributed. This could involve naming beneficiaries for various assets like bank accounts, real estate, investments, and personal belongings. You also can designate guardians for minor children and specify any special provisions or conditions for inheritance. Remember, your will is personal and should never be treated like a transaction. 

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Commonly Inherited Assets

When planning your estate, it's important to consider the types of assets that you may be leaving behind. The types of assets commonly passed down through a will include: 

  • Real Estate: Properties, including homes, land, and real estate investments 

  • Financial Accounts: Savings accounts, checking accounts, brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s

  • Life Insurance Policies: Proceeds from these policies can be transferred to beneficiaries to be used as they see fit

  • Personal Property: Vehicles, jewelry, artwork, and furnishings that often hold both sentimental and monetary value 

  • Investments: Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds that were owned by the deceased

  • Business Interests: Shares or ownership stakes in businesses that can be passed down to heirs, to continue the legacy of entrepreneurship

  • Digital Assets: Online accounts, social media, and even cryptocurrency are considered assets and can be inherited

Each of these assets can hold both monetary and sentimental value, so their distribution should be thoughtfully considered. Listing out these assets and naming beneficiaries in your will can avoid confusion or disputes after your passing.  

Why Is Having a Will Important? 

Having a will is more than just a means to distribute your assets; it’s a crucial component of your estate plan that ensures your wishes are respected after your passing. A will offers the peace of mind that comes from knowing your estate will be handled according to your directives. It prevents potential conflicts among your heirs, simplifies the legal process, and can minimize estate taxes, thereby preserving more of your legacy for your beneficiaries.  

Dying without a will is known as dying "intestate," which means the state laws where you reside will determine how your assets are distributed. This process often doesn’t consider your personal wishes or the needs of your heirs and can lead to unexpected or undesirable outcomes.  

Often, your assets will be distributed to your surviving relatives based on their relationship to you. Usually, your spouses and children will inherit the majority of your estate, followed by your parents, siblings, and tertiary family members. Additionally, it can cause significant delays and additional expenses during the administration of your estate. 

Differences Between a Will and Trust  

Wills and trusts are two different estate planning tools. A will only takes effect upon your death and goes through the probate process. It allows you to distribute your assets and name guardians for minor children. A trust, however, can take effect during your lifetime and provides for the management and distribution of your assets both while you're alive and after your death. It can help avoid probate and provide more privacy.  

As your estate planning attorney, I'm here to help you make important decisions about your estate plan. Whether you're in Findlay, Ohio, or the surrounding areas, I'm here to offer my support and guidance to develop a carefully-crafted will.  

Can I Write My Own Will?  

Yes, it is possible to write your own will, known as a “holographic will.” However, for the document to be legally binding, it must meet specific requirements that vary by state. These often include being written entirely in your own handwriting and being signed by you. Despite the legal acceptance of holographic wills in some jurisdictions, it is generally advisable to seek professional legal assistance. A professionally-drafted will ensures the document clearly articulates your wishes and meets all legal standards, significantly reducing the risk of challenges to the will.  

Can I Change My Will?  

Absolutely. It’s advisable to review and possibly revise your will periodically, especially after major life events such as marriage, divorce, death, the birth of a child, or significant changes in assets. To change your will, you can either add an amendment known as a “codicil” or draft a new will. Any changes must be made using the proper legal procedures to ensure they are valid and enforceable. 

Wills Attorney Serving Findlay, Ohio 

At Robert E. Schuck Attorney at Law, I'm committed to providing empathetic, compassionate, and professional legal counsel to individuals in Findlay, Ohio, and throughout Hancock County, including Rawson, Arcadia, Van Buren, and Mt. Blanchard. With over 30 years of experience, I understand the importance of creating a personalized will that reflects your unique situation and wishes.