PROBATE - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. What is probate?
    Probate is just the name for the process that Ohio applies to distribute the property of a deceased person.

     
  2. How do I avoid probate?
    Probate can be avoided in several ways.  The most common ways to avoid probate are by creating a trust and utilizing transfer on death designations.  However, it is easy to miss necessary steps if you are relying on advice from a non-attorney so make sure to do your own research thoroughly. Or call us today to schedule a consultation!
     
  3. Should I avoid probate?
    The primary benefits of avoiding probate are that your affairs are kept completely private, your estate avoids the expenses of Probate Court, you can reduce your estate tax liability, and any necessary transfers may happen quickly and easily.  The downside of avoiding probate is that your beneficiaries or heirs may be left in the dark through the entire process and without the direct court oversight it is easier for a fiduciary to abuse power.  The determination as to whether you should actively avoid probate depends on your particular family dynamics and the types of assets that you own.
     
  4. What should I bring to the appointment?
    Bring as many of the following items as possible:
    • The names and addresses of all the beneficiaries listed under the will and any natural heirs (including disinherited family members)
    • Any information regarding financial accounts, life insurance policies, personal property, and any other property belonging to the deceased person
    • Titles to any cars and deeds to any real estate in the deceased person's name
    • Funeral bill
    • Death certificate
    • Any valid wills and trusts of the decedent
    • Social Security card of the deceased person
    • Social Security card of the applicant
    • Driver’s license/ State ID of the applicant

Probate Resources

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