In Part 1 of this series, we addressed how a will allows you to nominate a guardian to care for your children when you pass. In Part 2, we will address how a will allows you to appoint a person to manage your estate. Before we begin, it is necessary to explain what probate is and how it works.
Upon death, a probate estate is then opened for the deceased (this person is referred to as the "Decedent"). Probate is a legal proceeding where the validity of the will is established, and an "Executor" is appointed to manage the estate. This includes closing bank accounts, resolving claims from creditors, and distributing the Decedent's assets in accordance with the will. If a person dies without a will, the court appoints an "Administrator" to perform a similar function.
The key difference is that a will allows you to name an Executor and you make the decision as to who will be responsible for managing your probate estate. Without a will, the court will appoint this person and he or she might not be who you want to handle your affairs. Depending upon your family situation, multiple people could petition the court to take on this responsibility, and ultimately the court will have the final say.
For further information about naming an Executor in your will, contact Jesse Bowman at the law office of Alexander, Wagner & Kinman (513-228-1100). Our office is a full-service law firm located in Mason, Ohio. A few of the cities we serve are Mason, Lebanon, Cincinnati, West Chester, Dayton, Middletown, Hamilton, Springboro, Franklin and Kettering.
This information is intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from a licensed attorney.
Attorney Jesse Bowman