A dispute over a loved one's will generally begins long before the family member dies. Often, old feuds and long-held grudges surface in the emotion of someone's death and the disclosure of the contents of the will. In many cases, the beneficiaries settle out of court or those who bring the dispute decide it is not worth the time and money to go through probate litigation. However, if enough is at stake, interested parties may take the matter as far as it can go to obtain their goals.
The procedure to start an estate in the probate court after a person's death is generally similar in Ohio and other states. The procedure can be slightly different if the decedent had no will. In either case, the probate court will not get directly involved in the estate's details unless problems arise.
The general probate process is similar in all states. The terminology may vary to some extent in the different jurisdictions, creating what looks like divergent laws and procedures. Actually, the general pattern of probate is similar from state to state. At the same time, it is necessary to be familiar with the specific probate laws in one's state, including here in Ohio, to probate an estate most efficiently and in a timely manner.
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The strong point of making a will in Ohio and elsewhere is that it gives to the maker the right to control the disposition of estate assets after his or her death. This is no small benefit when one considers that, without a will, the disposition of assets will go by state statute. Without estate planning and a will, one cannot be assured how these matters will be handled. It will not even be certain who will step forth to seek the authority to administer the estate for the intestate decedent.
The growing acceptance by most people in Ohio and nationwide of the benefits of the internet has resulted in their willingness to store even vital information, documents and financial accounts online. This trend brings up estate planning issues that require important evaluation and decision-making. There are now software programs that support this movement by assisting people in storing all digital assets in one place.