What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of administering someone’s estate after they pass away.
Some people think that if they have a will, they won’t need to go through probate. Others think that if they don’t own a home or any large assets, they won’t need to go through probate.
We’re here to tell you that without the proper planning, upon your death—with or without a will, and with or without large assets—things that you own in your name only will need to go through some type of legal process in order to be distributed.
If you have a will, you are able to choose who you would like to administer your Estate and who you would like to receive your assets upon your passing.
If you don’t have a will, the court will be required to follow the rules of the State of Ohio. This often results in distributing your assets in a way that seems unfair to some family members or differs from your intentions or wishes.
With or without a will, the appointed executor or fiduciary will have to do the following:
- Ensure your property is accounted for and taken care of
- Collect money due to you from anyone (stocks, insurance, etc.)
- Determine your heirs (this can be tricky if there were any births/deaths since your will was prepared)
- Pay legal debts
- Distribute your assets according to your will
Filing court papers and taking on these responsibilities can be confusing and overwhelming, especially in the face of grief. That is why many people hire a Probate Attorney.
How Donald Law Office can Help
If you have lost a loved one, going through probate is the last thing you want to have to worry about. Our goal is to avoid Probate if at all possible and prepare your estate plan and affairs in a way that will reduce stress, conflict and confusion in the future.
Here are the benefits of avoiding Probate:
- Beneficiaries can claim funds faster
- You will avoid court fees
- Your assets and family’s personal information will not appear in a public record
In most circumstances, the attorneys at Donald Law Office can structure your Estate Plan to avoid the Probate process. But if you find you need to open a Probate estate, we can help. Contact us for an initial consultation.