Probate is the legal proceeding that deals with the administering of property to descendants after a person has passed away. This includes property that is to be administered by a will or trust and property that are intestate. In order to avoid having your personal property declared intestate, it is necessary to see a lawyer so that a will or trust can be created in the person’s name.
In Ohio, when a person dies and leaves no instructions via a will, trust or equitable document, the state gains control of his or her assets (they become intestate) in order to make sure that all taxes are paid and all property is transferred to the proper descendants.
The best way to avoid your property becoming intestate is by creating a clear, legally binding will. So long as you leave instructions on how to transfer your assets and to whom, your property will not become intestate nor be subject to Ohio’s automatic probate proceedings. An experience probate lawyer can help ensure your will is thorough and accurate.
The only types of property that are not included in probate are those owned jointly between the deceased and other parties, property owned within a trust, accounts payable upon death, property transferred to a person via a will and insurance/retirement benefits that are meant to be paid out to an identifiable beneficiary.
If all a person’s assets are included in a will or trust, the person who was named the executor of the estate will be in charge of ensuring that the terms of the estate are carried out. If no executor was named, the courts will appoint a person, bank or trust company to act as an administrator to the estate.
Probate courts will supervise the work of the executor to make sure that he or she is carrying out the terms of the estate honestly. As long as no claims are made against the estate, the entire process doesn’t take too long to complete, but complaints can be filed for up to six months after the date of death.
Writing a will or formulating a trust is the best way to ensure that your assets are transferred to your intended beneficiaries quickly and within the confines of the Ohio probate. By hiring a lawyer to help you through the process, you will severely reduce the chance that a legitimate claim can be made against your estate.
If you are interested in establishing your estate, and you’re in need of a lawyer in Springfield, Ohio, we can help. Contact the offices of Michael T. Edwards today and make sure your assets are protected after death.