Probate in Ohio is the legal process that determines the value and distribution of the assets of a deceased person, known as a decedent, who was an Ohio resident at the time of death. Probate is necessary to protect the decedent’s assets for the heirs, creditors, and others with a vested interest in the estate. In addition, probate handles the payment of outstanding debts and taxes and oversees how the remaining assets are distributed to those entitled to receive them under the decedent’s will or by law.
Probating an estate requires that the Probate Court assign a suitable person to supervise the administration of the estate. If the person appointed to manage is named in the will, this person is called an executor. If there is no will, this person is referred to as an administrator.
In either case, executor or administrator could be an individual, bank, or trust company and their duties generally consist of the following:
It’s important to note two specific conditions that can affect the probate process:
The expenses involved in putting an estate through probate include court costs, attorney fees, executor or administrator fees, attorney, and taxes. They are broken down thusly:
Probate can take a long time, and the more complex or contested the estate is, the more time it will take to finalize. The longer probate takes, the more it will cost. Different states have different laws for probate and if it’s required after the decedent’s death. In Ohio, probate is needed any time property is listed in the decedent’s sole name, regardless of the estate’s value.
Ohio provides for a streamlined probate process, however, known as “small estate probate.” To qualify, the following conditions must be met:
Some assets can bypass probate because beneficiaries have been designated for the asset. These can include such things as:
Similarly, assets held by a trust or jointly owned with a right of survivorship can also bypass the probate process.
In Ohio, estate taxes are no longer applicable for dates of death after December 31, 2012.
That said, other taxes must be filed in the decedent’s name or their estate. These can include:
Dealing with probate can be time-consuming and confusing—especially if complications arise. That’s why the experienced attorneys at Heban, Murphee & Lewandowski are standing by, ready to help.
Reach out for a free consultation today.