Is Selecting a Probate Attorney Nearby Necessary? And Other Questions & Answers….

courtroom gavel

On the federal level in the US, there is something called the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). It is a set of commonly accepted probate laws. These laws are familiar to any attorney working in probate. The UPC was designed to simplify probate across the United States.

“Has my state adopted the UPC?,” you may ask yourself.

As of 2021, Ohio has not accepted the UPC, and neither has Indiana or Kentucky. Michigan has adopted the UPC in its entirely, as have 15 other states.

As for whether you need probate as the executor, that depends largely on the condition of the estate in question. If the decedent had accounts that were shared accounts, or holdings that were specifically designated for inheritance by certain individuals, then you may be able to avoid probate. If there were trusts in place, which had been funded before the decedent passed, then probate may be avoidable. If the decedent worked with a probate lawyer in your area, those considerations may have already been addressed.

In most cases, though, you will need to ask the court to name you as the executor, and this will begin the probate process. This is also the point at which you will begin to work closely with a probate attorney.

“Do I need a probate attorney near me, or can I work with one in another city?” you may ask.

Your attorney can be in another town, but it is often easiest to have representation in the local area where you will be handling the executor role.

Is There a Possibility for a Simplified Probate Process?

If the estate is valued at less than $35,000, the state of Ohio offers a less expensive and simplified probate process.

That same simplified probate process might also be available if one spouse dies and bequeaths all property to the surviving spouse. This is the case if the estate is worth less than $100,000, and if the deceased spouse’s Will clarifies that provision – that everything goes to the widow or widower. It is also the case, under Ohio law, if there is no Will in place, and the estate is valued at under $100,000.

If you have any questions about being an executor, contact Donnellon, Donnellon, & Miller to schedule a consultation.