by Brenden | Jan 21, 2023 | Estate Planning
“Probate” is the legal process of settling an individual’s estate after they pass away. In Ohio, probate is overseen by the Probate Court in the county where the deceased individual lived at the time of their death. The purpose of probate is to ensure that the deceased person’s assets are distributed according to their will or, if they did not have a will, according to Ohio state laws
. When an individual passes away and leaves behind assets, those assets must go through the probate process before they can be distributed to the deceased person’s heirs or beneficiaries.
The probate process typically includes:
- Filing a petition with the Probate Court: The person responsible for settling the estate, known as the executor or administrator, must file a petition with the Probate Court to open the probate case. The petition will include information about the deceased person’s assets and heirs.
- Appointing an executor or administrator: If the deceased person left a will, the Probate Court will appoint the executor named in the will as the personal representative of the estate. If the deceased person did not leave a will, the Probate Court will appoint an administrator to handle the probate process.
- Notifying heirs and creditors: The executor or administrator is responsible for notifying the deceased person’s heirs and creditors of the probate case. This is typically done by mailing them a notice of the probate case.
- Gathering and inventorying assets: The executor or administrator is responsible for gathering all of the deceased person’s assets and inventorying them for the Probate Court. This includes assets such as real estate, bank accounts, stocks, and personal property.
- Paying debts and taxes: The executor or administrator is responsible for paying the deceased person’s debts and taxes, including any credit card balances, outstanding loans, and any taxes owed.
- Distributing assets to heirs: After the deceased person’s debts and taxes have been paid, the executor or administrator can distribute the remaining assets to the deceased person’s heirs according to the terms of the will or Ohio state law.
How long can the probate process take?
In Ohio, probate process can take anywhere from several months to several years, depending on the complexity of the estate and the number of assets involved. It is important for executors or administrators to keep detailed records and work closely with the Probate Court to ensure that the process is handled properly.
Can the probate process be avoided?
Probate process is not always necessary. Some assets, such as jointly owned property, life insurance policies, or retirement accounts with named beneficiaries, may pass directly to the designated beneficiary outside the probate process. Also, the state of Ohio allows for simplified probate process for small estates. In those cases, where the value of the probate estate is less than $35,000, the court may be waived of its jurisdiction and the estate can be settled by the individual without court involvement.
In Ohio, it’s important to understand the probate process and your role in it if you are named as an executor or administrator, an heir or a potential beneficiary. Also, if you are looking to avoid probate or have concerns about the process, it’s best to consult with an attorney who can help you understand your options and guide you through the process. Please call Brenden Kelley Law at 216-644-3359 so that we can assist you.
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by Brenden | Dec 15, 2022 | Estate Planning
A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person, called a “grantor” or “settlor,” transfers ownership of property to another person, called a “trustee,” to hold and manage for the benefit of a third person, called a beneficiary. Trusts are often created in Ohio to manage and protect assets, reduce taxes, and provide for the distribution of property after the trustor’s death. There are several different types of trusts, each with its own specific purpose and characteristics.
6 common types of trusts in Ohio:
- Revocable trusts: A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, can be amended or revoked by the trustor at any time during their lifetime. This type of trust is often used to avoid probate, a legal process that occurs after a person’s death to distribute their assets according to their will or state laws.
- Irrevocable trusts: An irrevocable trust cannot be amended or revoked by the trustor once it has been created. This type of trust is often used to transfer assets out of the trustor’s name in order to reduce taxes or protect the assets from creditors.
- Testamentary trusts: A testamentary trust is created in a person’s will and becomes effective upon their death. This type of trust is often used to provide for minor children or other beneficiaries who are not capable of managing their own finances.
- Charitable trusts: A charitable trust is a type of irrevocable trust that is established for the benefit of a charitable organization. This type of trust is often used to make charitable donations while also receiving tax benefits.
- Special needs trusts: A special needs trust is a type of trust that is specifically designed to provide financial support for a beneficiary with disabilities, without affecting their eligibility for government benefits.
- Spendthrift trusts: A spendthrift trust is a type of trust that is designed to protect the assets of the beneficiary from creditors or their own reckless spending. The trustee is responsible for managing and distributing the assets in the trust according to the terms of the trust agreement.
Trusts are an important part of Estate Planning.
Trusts can be an important tool for managing and protecting assets, reducing taxes, and providing for the distribution of property. It is important to carefully consider the specific needs and goals of the grantor and beneficiaries when selecting the type of trust that is right for them. Trusts commonly serve as an important part of any individual’s estate plan. Please call Brenden Kelley Law at 216-644-3359 so that we can assist you.
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by Brenden | Dec 8, 2022 | Estate Planning
Estate planning is a crucial aspect of financial planning that involves organizing and managing your assets and affairs in the event of your incapacitation or death. It is especially important in the state of Ohio, as Ohio law dictates how your assets will be distributed if you do not have a valid estate plan in place. Without proper estate planning, your assets may not be distributed according to your wishes, and your loved ones may face unnecessary challenges and complications in the aftermath of your passing.
There are several key reasons why estate planning is so important in Ohio:
First and foremost, estate planning allows you to control how your assets will be distributed after your death. This is especially important if you have specific wishes for how your assets should be used, or if you want to ensure that your loved ones are provided for in the event of your passing. Without a proper estate plan, your assets may be distributed according to Ohio’s laws of intestacy, which may not align with your wishes.
Estate planning also allows you to appoint a trusted individual as your power of attorney, giving them the authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. This can be especially important if you become incapacitated due to an illness or injury, as it ensures that someone you trust is able to make important decisions on your behalf.
In addition to these practical considerations, estate planning can also help to minimize potential conflicts and disputes among your loved ones in the aftermath of your passing. When you have a clear and well-organized estate plan in place, it can be easier to avoid disputes over your assets and ensure that your loved ones are provided for according to your wishes.
There are several different tools and strategies that can be used as part of an effective estate plan in Ohio. Some of the most common include wills, trusts, power of attorney documents, and advance healthcare directives. It is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine which tools and strategies are best suited to your individual needs and goals.
Estate planning can provide you with peace of mind.
Overall, estate planning is an essential aspect of financial planning that can provide peace of mind and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your incapacitation or death. By taking the time to create a comprehensive and well-organized estate plan, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are protected. Please call Brenden Kelley Law at 216-644-3359 so that we can assist you.
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