Dispelling Myths
About Probate

In Ohio, going through the probate is often required to settle a decedent's final affairs and distribute the estate's assets to rightful beneficiaries. However, there are a lot of collective popular opinions and misleading information surrounding the probate process. As a result, it is never advisable to navigate the probate process without experienced guidance. A knowledgeable Ohio probate and estate planning attorney can educate you about the probate process and help clear any misconceptions.

At StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law, we are committed to providing experienced legal guidance and reliable advocacy to clients in estate planning and probate-related matters. Our trusted attorneys are available to discuss your unique situation and enlighten you about the probate process. We proudly serve clients across Dayton, Miamisburg, Warren, Clark County, Greene County, Preble County, and Butler County, Ohio.

Common Probate Myths
and Misconceptions

There are numerous false assumptions out there surrounding the probate process in Ohio. Estate planning attorneys must enlighten clients about the steps involved in probate and how it affects their surviving family members. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about probate and a brief explanation as to why they are false:

Myth #1: If I have a will,
my estate won't go through probate.

This is a common misconception. Having a will doesn't mean your estate won't go through probate. In Ohio, a will must be filed with the probate court after the testator’s death to establish its validity. Also, having a last will and testament can help fast-track the probate process. Among the possible options to avoid probate in Ohio include living trusts, joint ownership, and payable-on-death accounts.

Myth #2: Probate means that
the state is getting all my assets.

This is not true. Probate is the legal process to administer a person's estate upon their death. It involves gathering the decedent's assets, paying taxes and debts, and distributing remaining assets to rightful beneficiaries – under the provisions of the last will and testament or Ohio intestate succession laws (if there is no will).

Myth #3: The probate process
takes years to finalize.

This is not necessarily true. On average, it takes between six months and one year to finalize probate in Ohio. Estates that use the simplified probate process can complete it within four months. Some factors that can affect the length of time for probate include:

  • The size of the estate
  • The number of taxes and debts to pay
  • Tax issues
  • The number of heirs and beneficiaries
  • Ongoing income
  • Any contested issues of a will.
  • Disagreements, disputes, or conflicts between family members.

Myth #4: Estate taxes will
consume most of my estate.

This is another common misconception. In Ohio, there are no estate taxes for any property first discovered after December 31, 2021. However, you may still need to pay estate tax to the federal government for assets worth $ 12.06 million or more.

Myth #5: The will must be
probated immediately.

This is not essentially true. Unlike in some other states, there is no strict time limit or a criminal penalty for failing to probate a will. Nevertheless, there may be consequences for withholding a will. Any beneficiary of a will who intentionally withholds or conceals the will may lose their right to inherit any property under the will.

Myth #6: I don't need an attorney
to go through the probate process

Getting proper guidance during probate is crucial to help you navigate vital decisions. A skilled attorney can help simplify the complex probate procedures and outline a strategic plan to preserve your family's assets. Above all, an attorney can offer you the legal assistance and guidance you need to navigate probate seamlessly and avoid making irreversible mistakes when going through such a difficult time.

Getting the Experienced
Legal Guidance You Need

Going through the probate process in Ohio following the death of a loved one can be emotional and complicated. Moreover, the several misleading pieces of information out there about the probate process make it even more challenging and confusing for people to navigate. Therefore, consulting with an experienced Ohio probate attorney is crucial for proper guidance and navigating decisions during probate.

At StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law, our attorneys have the knowledge, diligence, and experience to guide individuals and families through the complexities of probate proceedings. We can also give valuable insights on asset valuation and inheritance tax. Our trusted team will work diligently with you and other family members to settle probate issues and disputes amicably and peacefully.

Contact StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law today to schedule a simple consultation with trusted estate planning attorneys. Our dedicated attorneys can offer you the detailed legal counsel, assistance, and brilliant advocacy you need to navigate crucial decisions during such a difficult and emotional period. We are proud to serve clients across Dayton, Miamisburg, Warren, Clark County, Greene County, Preble County, and Butler County, Ohio.


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