Some individuals create wills to leave property, heirlooms or money in good hands. According to the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2107, a person has to be 18 or older to make a will, be of sound mind and have at least two adult witnesses present upon signing the will.
Leaving your possessions to an heir can be a great way to ensure they’d be handled responsibly. But is a will right for you? Read the pros and cons below to help you weigh your options.
Pros of a Will
Establishing a will has many advantages:
- It’s tangible evidence of the distribution of assets: Having a will in writing guarantees who inherits what. Your words alone, aka an “oral will,” may not hold much water in court. Plus, a written will prevents the state from choosing heirs on your behalf.
- You can choose your executor: The executor of your will can be anyone of your choosing like a sibling, your oldest adult child or a close friend. If you prefer, you also have the option to appoint an outside party who deals with wills on a routine basis.
- You’re free to transfer assets to any heir(s) of your choosing: Many will creators usually leave their assets to a spouse, children or other relatives. However, you can also transfer money or property to a charity organization like a homeless shelter.
Cons of a Will
Wills have a few potential drawbacks as well:
- Wills may be subject to probate: The probate process typically takes several months or years to complete. Plus, proceedings are generally a matter of public record, meaning anyone can access the information you might want to keep private.
- Your heirs may be stuck with tax fees: Seventeen U.S. states charge an inheritance tax, an estate tax or both. If your heirs happen to live in one of these states, they’ll be responsible for any taxes that may come along with their money/property inheritance.
Perhaps, you can explore an alternative like a trust, which can be effective immediately rather than upon your death. If you have any questions about will creation, it helps to reach out for experienced legal assistance.