Far too often, individuals in Ohio and elsewhere pass away without having put a will in place. When this happens, surviving family members have to make many difficult decisions and take extra steps to get the estate administration process underway. Even affluent individuals may not always leave enough instruction for their loved ones.
It was recently reported that actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away earlier this year after battling colon cancer, had not created a will. His wife, Simone Ledward, has petitioned the court to act as the administrator of the estate, a step that may have been unnecessary if Boseman had named her as the executor in a will. It was noted that the estate is valued a just under $1 million, but Boseman’s remaining worth could be higher as not all of his assets are subject to probate.
The report mentioned that Boseman’s surviving family includes his wife, his mother and his father. Because there was no will, his parents may be entitled to a portion of his remaining assets. It was noted that Ledward requested only limited authority over the estate, and more information on how his affairs are settled may be released as the administration moves forward.
While taking steps to remove assets from an estate to avoid probate, such as by using a trust, can be helpful, it does not always replace the need for a will. Still, many individuals in Ohio may be trying to move forward with estate administration without this document, and fortunately, it can be done. The process differs from what could happen when a person leaves direct instructions through a will, but the remaining affairs are handled through the appropriate legal channels.