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estate administration & probate Archives

Social media and estate planning

Ohio residents may not take their Twitter or other social media accounts seriously. However, it may be a good idea to account for them in an estate plan. If an account is not properly shut down, it could cause unnecessary grief and pain as it continues to exist as a ghost account. For friends and loved ones, it may be embarrassing and awkward to see a deceased person appear as a suggested social media friend or contact.

Common grounds for contesting a will

Contesting a will is a difficult process, because the person whose wishes it is supposed to express is no longer available to clarify anything that might be up for debate or interpretation. There are, however, certain situations that may lead you to question a will and its contents, and if you meet certain criteria, you may be able to legally do so.

Learn more about the role of estate executor

Individuals who are named executors to an Ohio estate are responsible for carrying out an individual's final wishes. It is their job to ensure that debts are paid and money and other property that remains are distributed to the proper beneficiaries. An executor does not need to be an attorney or an individual with a proper financial background. However, this person does need to act in the estate's best interests at all times. This is referred to as a 'fiduciary duty".

Minimizing the risk of probate

Leaving one's estate in the hands of the Ohio court system could have a serious financial impact. Dying without a will leaves little choice because officials must ensure that the assets of a decedent are rightfully distributed to legal heirs. In the process, the executor may incur expenses related to these activities, which will typically be deducted from estate assets. While this might seem like a good reason to create a will, it is important to understand that having such a document does not remove the need for probate.

Challenging a will in Ohio

Successfully challenging a will in Ohio and throughout the country is difficult because courts work on the assumption that the will conveys the wishes of the testator, or creator, and that person is no longer able to express their wishes in any other way. When a will challenge is successful, it is usually brought by a spouse and is on the grounds that either the testator was unduly influenced by someone else or was too mentally incapacitated to produce a valid will.

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