What to Consider Before Drafting a Will

Each state has its own laws surrounding estates, Wills, and inheritance taxes. As attorneys in Cincinnati who focus on Probate matters, we are most familiar with Ohio state laws, but we can certainly cover general concerns for other states as well. In nearly all cases, Wills require the signatures of two witnesses, and must be typed. But what else should you keep in mind?

Estate Tax

The federal government imposes an estate tax, but it only deals with the most asset-rich estates. Several states impose their own estate taxes. Ohio does not have its own estate tax, but Kentucky has one. So, if you have two children, one who lives in Ohio and one south of the river, you may want to allocate their shares differently to cover for the added taxes one of them may be expected to pay.

Not Covered In The Will

One thing to keep in mind is that your Will does not cover all of your assets. If there any accounts in a joint name, those will transfer without the involvement of a Will. If you have a named beneficiary on your 401(k) or any other investment account, the funds will transfer to that beneficiary without the use of your Will. The same goes for life insurance policies. Before starting a Will, you should assign beneficiaries on as many accounts as you can. Having a lawyer help you with these designations is the easiest way to ensure their accuracy and clarity.

You can set up payable-on-death, or POD, accounts, which allow your beneficiaries to access the funds, after your death, without waiting for your estate to go through probate court. Many states will let you set up transfer-on-death, or TOD, situations for real estate as well as vehicles, boats and ATVs.

Probate & Will Assistance In Cincinnati

We can help your draft your Will. Our team of probate lawyers are experts at preparing such documents, and we can assist with whatever concerns you may have. Our phone number is 513-891-7087, or if you would rather meet in person, our office is on Montgomery Road, right near I-71 and the Ronald Reagan Highway, near Kenwood, Montgomery, and Blue Ash. Please fill out our online contact form and we will be in touch.