Understanding The Role Of Probate Lawyers Any Why They’re Needed

A probate lawyer navigates the probate legal process for the administration of wills or to have an administrator of the estate approved when a will has not been prepared. Probate takes place upon the death of a person who leaves assets. Ohio has a small estate law, and this law establishes an asset amount below which the more formal probate process is not required. Your probate attorney can assess whether this benefit is available to an estate.

estate planning documentsWhen required, the probate process includes the following:

– Establishing the validity of a will to the satisfaction of a probate court.
– Providing a complete inventory of a person’s real and personal property.
– Obtaining the appraisal of the property.
– Ensuring that debts and taxes are paid.
– Distributing remainder of assets as the will directs, or according to Ohio law if a will does not exist.

A probate lawyer will ask the court to approve the personal representative (executor) designated in the will. If a will does not exist, then the lawyer can ask the court to appoint a personal representative.

Understanding What “In Probate” Means

The probate process involves a lot of paperwork and your attorney may be required to make court appearances. The lawyer will also protect the assets of the estate from false claims against the estate. Claims made by people acting as creditors is one common example.

Generally, only assets that a deceased person owned solely in their name has to go through probate. Assets held with a joint owner do not need to go through probate. A lawyer experienced in probate law will know which assets fall into this category.

A probate lawyer can prevent problems with settling an estate by guiding the personal representative through the legal process beginning with ensuring that there are no objections to the person who is appointed to be the personal representative either by the will or by the court in the absence of a will.

The lawyer can make certain that the personal representative follows the probate and tax laws. Ensuring that the proper notification is made to known creditors is important. If a notice must be made about the existence of an estate, then the attorney can ensure this is done properly.

The Importance Of A Probate Attorney

One of the most important functions of this attorney is guiding the personal representative through the probate process at every step. If this process is not followed, the estate could become tied up in legal issues that might delay final settlement and distribution of assets to the heirs and increase the costs of probate.

It is a good idea to discuss the probate process with an experienced lawyer before the process is needed. A discussion can be easily arranged and it would prove to be helpful over time. It would also help in making good plans before they are needed.