After your loved one has passed, it's necessary to figure out how property, valuables, and other items he or she left behind will be distributed. One of the first things the state will see to is that expenses such as taxes and outstanding bills are paid properly. What remains afterward will be divided among the appropriate entitled parties based on your loved one's will. If he or she didn't have a will, then the state will determine who the beneficiaries are and what they will receive according to the law. If this is the case for your situation, probate court will be held in the county where your loved one lived. If he or she owned property in another state, additional proceedings may need to take place there.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE PURPOSE OF PROBATE?
The purpose of probate is to appoint the person who will administer the will. This person is called the executor. If there isn't a will, someone is still appointed and is called the administrator. Either way, the executor or administrator can be a person, bank, or trust company. The goal is to make sure the affairs are handled legally and appropriately.
IS PROBATE NECESSARY FOR MY SITUATION?
Typically, probate is necessary for bigger estates and/or multiple assets, but it can be avoided. Here are a few scenarios in which probate is avoidable:
LACK OF URGENCY
If your loved one owned a house, for example, and no one cares to sell it and also continues to pay the appropriate taxes on it, then there isn't a penalty for not going through probate. Other reasons for lack of urgency could include your loved one not being in any debt or owing anyone money. Attorney Thomas Sacerich can help you decipher if this is the case for you in a manner rooted in compassion and care.
REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST
If your loved one transferred ownership to his or her property or businesses before passing, then probate is unnecessary because the person who owns it is still alive. To avoid probate via this route, all assets would need to be transferred.
Technically, even small estates require a probate process. However, simplified probate is an option and omits a lot of the formalities that the regular probate process entails. If your loved one's estate is eligible for the simplified process, Thomas can help you figure that out.
There are several types of assets that just don't need to go through probate court. Some of these assets include life insurance policies with beneficiaries, retirement accounts with beneficiaries, and real estate with deeds in which the joint owner is still alive.
MENTOR, OHIO PROBATE LAW ATTORNEY
Losing a loved one is already hard enough without having to dig through the legalities of what was left behind. Regardless if there was a will or note, attorney Thomas Sacerich can help make sure things are distributed properly and according to your loved one's wishes. Scheduling a consultation won't cost you a thing, so set up yours today.