Intestacy laws and their influence on estate distribution

by | Jul 26, 2018 | estate planning, Firm News

One of the biggest advantages that a person can experience when they elect to create an estate plan is the power to decide where and to whom their assets will pass. An Ohio resident can exercise a great deal of influence in this respect and can, with a strong and effective estate plan, avoid many of the pitfalls that others may suffer when they neglect this important part of preparing for the future. If a person does not have a plan in place their assets and wealth may distribute based on the state’s laws of intestacy.

A person dies intestate if they do not have a will that dictates where their wealth and property should go when they die. Generally, a person’s estate will pass to their spouse if they have one. However, any children that exist from prior relationships may also have a claim for their parent’s estate in addition to the spouse the decedent was wed to at the time of their death.

If a person does not have a spouse when they die then their estate will generally pass to their kids. If a child dies prior to their parent then any children of that child, that is to say the grandchildren of the decedent, may collect their parent’s share. After children and spouses a decedent’s estate may pass up to their parents, down to their siblings and so on until a beneficiary has been found.

While many people want their estates to stay in their families most want some control over where and to whom their assets pass. Developing an estate plan with a trusted attorney is a good first step in securing one’s control over their end-of-life wealth.