How to Probate a Will in Ohio?
Probate is the process through which the court supervises the distribution of a person’s assets after his or her death. In Ohio, barring some exceptional cases, most of the estates go through the probate process. The probate process can be complicated and time-consuming depending upon the circumstances. An Ohio probate attorney can ensure that the probate process is smooth and hassle-free.
Steps Involved in the Probate Process
Generally, the following steps are necessary to probate a will in Ohio:
Filing the Original Will
The first step is to find and file the decedent’s original will in the county where he or she lived. One can also check online court records to verify if a will has already been filed.
Proof of the Decedent’s Death
The Ohio probate court will open an estate only after receiving proof of the decedent’s death. Therefore, the next step is to order the decedent’s death certificate which can be done by contacting the Ohio Department of Health.
Petition for Probate
Next, a petition for probate must be filed to have the will admitted to probate and to get an executor appointed. The petition may also require the details of the decedent and the beneficiaries. This is the step
Letters of Authority
Once the opening documents are filed and the court has heard the matter, it may issue the Letters of Authority to the executor, allowing him to assemble all the assets and administer the estate.
Administration of the Estate
After the Letters of Authority is issued, the executor can assemble the assets, identify the beneficiaries, notify the creditors, deal with creditor claims, and prepare an inventory of the assets. Generally, a creditor has six months after the decedent’s death to make a claim.
Petition to Close The Probate
Finally, once the creditor claims have been taken care of, the executor may file a petition to close the estate. To smoothen the process, the executor may seek waivers from the beneficiaries. Once the process is approved, the estate can be distributed accordingly.
Costs Involved in the Probate Process
The probate process usually involves the following charges:
- Filing fees
- Court costs
- Attorney’s fees
- Estate and federal taxes
- Executor’s fee
Executor’s Fee in Ohio
Estate executors and administrators are allowed remuneration for their services depending upon the value of the estate. The Ohio statute sets the executor’s fee in the following manner:
- 4% for the first $100,000 of the assets
- 3% for the next $300,000 of the assets
- 2% for all the assets above $400,000
Limitation to File Probate in Ohio
As per Ohio law, if you are aware of the existence of the will, you must file probate within one year of the decedent’s death. Holding on to the will for a longer period may have a negative impact on your inheritance. It is best to file probate as soon as possible to avoid any possible risks.
Consulting an Ohio Probate Attorney
Dealing with the grief of the passing of a loved one is tough, and the Ohio probate process can only make it tougher. The probate process in Ohio can become complicated very quickly if not managed properly. It usually takes six to twelve months for an estate to go through the probate process. Our team of seasoned Ohio Probate Attorneys at Ziccarelli & Martello can guide you through the probate process and ensure that the beneficiaries get the share they deserve.