Probate Attorney in Lima, Ohio
In the state of Ohio, probate is often required to settle a person’s final affairs and estate following their passing. During probate, the personal representative, executor, or administrator will collect and evaluate the decedent’s assets, pay debts and taxes, and distribute any remaining assets to rightful inheritors. If you need help with probate administration or want to know how probate works, you need to speak with a trusted Ohio estate planning attorney for proper guidance.
At Siferd & Associates, LPA, we provide knowledgeable guidance and advocacy to individuals, families, executors, and fiduciaries in probate-related matters. As your legal team, we can educate you about the Ohio probate process as well as what to expect. Also, we can inform executors about their roles and responsibilities and direct you through the legal procedures involved.
Siferd & Associates, LPA, proudly serves clients across Lima, Ohio, and the surrounding areas of Auglaize County, Mercer County, Putnam County, Allen County, and Hardin County.
Probate can be described as a court-supervised process which is usually required to determine if a will is valid and to settle the estate and final affairs of the deceased person. Generally, the probate process involves collecting and assessing the decedent’s assets, paying taxes and debts, and transferring the remaining assets to heirs and beneficiaries.
In Ohio, it can take between 9 and 12 months to finalize the whole probate process. However, when there are hostilities and disputes between surviving loved ones and creditors regarding estate administration, the probate proceedings may take an extended period.
Which Assets Go Through Probate?
Some common assets that often go through Ohio probate include:
- Personal belongings, including clothing, household items, jewelry, and collections.
- Assets owned only in the name of the decedent, including real estate properties and cars.
- A share of property owned as “tenants in common.”
Additionally, any jointly owned assets will be transferred to the surviving owner. Assets with valid beneficiary designations and trust property will bypass probate.
Probate & Your Surviving Family Members
As mentioned earlier, settling the deceased person’s final affairs and estate administration often require probate. As a result, probate might affect your surviving family members in various ways. This include:
- Probate is costly. It might reduce the size or amount of estate assets which would be transferred to inheritors.
- Probate is time-consuming. The long delays mean that inheritors won’t receive assets early enough.
- Probate is a matter of public record. Thus, affecting you and your surviving family member’s privacy.
- You may not have control over how some of your debts or assets are managed during probate.
- Your bank accounts and assets may be frozen until the probate process is finalized.
- Your estate and other probate assets will be subject to state, federal, inheritance, and estate taxes.
A seasoned lawyer can enlighten you about the Ohio probate process and what to expect.
The Probate Process in Ohio
Here are the steps involved in settling a deceased person’s estate through probate in Ohio:
- File the decedent’s will in the county court where they lived prior to their demise.
- File a petition for probate and ask the court to appoint a named personal representative or executor. If there is no will, the court may appoint an administrator.
- The county court will issue “Letters of Authority.” This gives the personal representative or executor the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.
Duties of the Executor or Administrator
Once appointed, the executor or administrator will do the following:
- Collect and evaluate the decedent’s assets and property.
- Notify heirs, beneficiaries named in the will, and creditors of the probate proceedings.
- Collect all decedent’s income, such as claims, interests, debts owed, rents, and dividends.
- Pay valid claims to creditors.
- Settle all taxes and debts.
- Prepare and file the deceased person’s final income tax returns.
- Distribute remaining estate property and assets to rightful beneficiaries and heirs.
During probate administration, the executor or administrator must distribute the estate assets according to the provisions and instructions of the will or Ohio’s intestate succession laws if the person died intestate (without a will). A trusted Ohio probate attorney can walk you through the entire probate process and help you navigate key decisions.
Turn to a Reliable Estate Planning Attorney
The probate process in Ohio usually involves a lot of complex procedures. Collecting probate assets, paying taxes and debts, transferring assets to inheritors, and resolving probate disputes can make the entire process overwhelming. Therefore, if you’ve lost a loved one or you’ve been appointed as an executor of a deceased family member’s estate, speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney is imperative for clear legal guidance.
At Siferd & Associates, LPA, our attorneys have devoted their careers to giving outstanding legal services and guiding clients through the complex probate processes. Also, we can evaluate the details and provisions of the estate plan and fully explain your duties as an executor. Further, we will help communicate with spouses, beneficiaries, and creditors, settle debts and taxes, and work together with you to ensure that you execute all probate tasks brilliantly.
Probate Attorney Serving Lima, Ohio
If you need assistance understanding the Ohio probate process or probate administration, contact us at Siferd & Associates, LPA, today for an initial consultation. Our knowledgeable lawyer has the dedicated advocacy and legal counsel you need. We proudly serve clients across Lima, Ohio, and the surrounding areas of Auglaize County, Mercer County, Putnam County, Allen County, and Hardin County.