While it may be uncomfortable to consider what will happen to your property and assets after your death, setting out clear plans for the future can be a great gift to your surviving family members. Our Zanesville probate and estate planning attorneys can assist with creating a clear estate plan that can help ensure your loved ones are provided for after your passing.
From helping you prepare a last will and testament to navigating questions of taxation, property inheritance, and more, our team can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. With an office in Zanesville and Cambridge, Ohio – our legal team is ready to help.
What Is Probate in Ohio?
When a person does pass away, their property and assets – known as their estate – typically become the responsibility of their estate executor or administrator. This is often a close family member such as a spouse or an adult child. The estate executor or administrator is responsible for making sure the deceased’s assets and property are distributed in accordance with their wishes.
In order to ensure that any debts the deceased left behind have been paid, and that beneficiaries receive their entitled inheritance, a court-supervised process called probate may be required. This process may include:
- Proving the validity of the will
- Inventorying the assets of the deceased
- Appraising the assets
- Paying off any taxes and/or debts the deceased left behind
- Distributing assets and/or property in accordance with the will
- And more.
Depending on the particulars of a specific case, the process of probating a will can take anywhere from months to a year or more. Factors that may lengthen the process include creditor claims against the estate, beneficiaries contesting the will, and more. If a friend or loved one has passed away and you need help with the probate process, schedule a consultation with our Ohio estate attorneys today.
How to Avoid Probate
Not every estate requires probate. Smaller estates may be eligible for a streamlined process of small estate probate. Estates totaling under $5,000 may be entitled to a summary release from administration, meaning exemption from probate altogether.
Certain assets do not need to pass through probate, regardless of the estate’s size. Such assets include:
- Real property that has been held jointly or in survivorship form
- Assets in trusts
- Insurance proceeds going to a named beneficiary
- Property and/or assets with a transfer-on-death designation
- Bank accounts with payable-on-death designations
- And more.
Each case is different, and particular possibilities may be open to you depending on the specifics of your case. Contact our law firm today to speak with an attorney to find out if probate is necessary or how we can help you plan to minimize the burden on your family.
Considerations for Estate Planning
The purpose of estate planning is to care for your future and the future of your loved ones. This may involve setting aside money for your spouse’s retirement, as well as allocating an equitable distribution of your estate to your loved ones after you pass away. There are many ways in which to structure an estate plan, and what is best for you will depend on the particular circumstances and needs of your family.
Considerations you may wish to keep in mind when planning for the future of your estate include:
- The functions of your life insurance
- How your retirement plan interacts with your last will and testament
- What to do about any businesses you own
- Navigating your debts
- What taxes might be associated with your estate
- Your family members’ individual circumstances regarding financial security
- Navigating your investments
- And more.
At Graham Law, we would be happy to talk through the unique circumstances of your family and see how we might be of service in helping you set up an estate plan that best suits your needs.
Contact Our Ohio Probate and Estate Planning Attorneys Today for A Consultation
Our Zanesville probate and estate planning attorneys are dedicated to providing compassionate, efficient service. Wherever you are in your estate administration process, contact us today and learn how we might be of service to you and your family.