A probate, by definition, is a legal process which affirms the validity of a last will and testament under a particular state’s law. In Ohio, a probate occurs in a court located in the county of the deceased party, and the process will include a review and approval the will, a designation of heirs if a person died without a will, and also the appointment an executor (or administrator) who will be responsible for carrying out the will’s terms, or for paying creditors and distributing assets if a person died without having a will.
The best way to know whether you will need a probate for the will, or to decide if you would like to retain a probate attorney, is to contact an attorney for a consultation as soon as possible.
The Ohio Probate Process
Although an attorney is not technically required for the probate process, estate-related matters can quickly escalate into complicated affairs if the will includes either significant financial and real assets, multiple beneficiaries, or if the will has any chance of being contested by any party. Considering these factors, a probate may include:
- Estate administration
- Estate taxes
- Transferring assets
- Locating beneficiaries
The complexity of all areas a probate can entail, as well as the emotional struggle of dealing with the loss of a loved one can make the probate process inconvenient and challenging.
Working With a Probate Attorney
For these reasons, hiring an attorney is strongly advised to accurately probate a will. Your attorney will ensure the process is completed while you enjoy peace of mind that the will is being administered correctly and efficiently. With a probate attorney, you will have a trusted and experienced advisor in your time of need, who has gone through the probate process on countless occasions in the past.
A Probate Attorney is Critical for Effective Representation
In cases where a will is either non-existent, incomplete, or has been rendered invalid, the probate court becomes responsible for distributing assets and carrying out the estate. In these scenarios, you will absolutely want an experienced probate attorney to act on your behalf to ensure that your best interests, and the interests of your loved ones are being accurately represented. Apart from dealing with the logistics of the probate process, you can be confident that you will be paying only what is required in fees and taxes, and that assets are transferred securely and accurately.
Crafting a proper estate plan can ensure that assets pass to designated heirs or beneficiaries in the most efficient way possible, minimizing time and costs associated with a probate proceeding. Transferring assets to a trust can minimize or possibly eliminate the probate process and provide protection from creditors in certain instances. Schedule a consultation to discuss the best way to structure your affairs so that you can pay a little now to save your heirs a whole lot later.
Contact Attorney Joseph L. Piccin of Dougherty, Hanneman & Piccin, LLC at (614) 659-9616 (office) or (614) 354-1099 (mobile) for a consultation. We will work with all of our clients to help them achieve the best outcome possible and sustain peace of mind.