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.
The personal representative of the decedent's estate in Ohio is responsible for managing and administering the assets of the estate. This includes the real estate owned by the decedent at his or her death. In some cases, other persons will be residing in the decedent's residence or in other real estate owned by the decedent. The personal representative, who is called the executor when there is a will, must dispose of the real estate during the probate process according to the will or according to state law where there is no will.
In Ohio and other states, should a person's estate have complete control over the decedent's private emails? A service provider, Yahoo, recently filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that it reverse a state court decision holding that a probate court could not refuse the estate's access to the deceased man's private emails. The original refusal of access was based on the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA), which sets up certain privacy protections for electronic accounts.
Acting as the executor or personal representative to someone's estate in Ohio is not an easy task that is quickly discharged. The probate of an estate may take many months before all the loose ends are wrapped up and the estate can be successfully concluded. A person can be appointed in a will to be the decedent's executor or, where the decedent had no will, the person stepping forth will likely be a next of kin who, in the face of no opposition, will be appointed by the court to perform the job.
After the testator of a will in Ohio dies and leaves assets in the form of bank accounts, getting to those accounts may be necessary early to pay for the funeral and related expenses, such as a funeral dinner. However, it will be necessary for the next of kin to show certain preliminary identification documents. Prior to setting up probate for a formal estate, money can be obtained from bank accounts by the estate's personal representative who is designated in the will.
In the estate planning process, most discussion about probate is about how to avoid it. Many people feel that the best way to deal with the probate process is to avoid it as much as possible.
Every estate will go through the probate process when it is administered. But not every estate has to have all of their assets go through that process. Protecting your hard earned property and assets from the probate process is a critical step to saving your beneficiaries and loved ones painful and extended probate litigation, as well as preserving the value of your estate.
When someone passes away, there are a number of details that must be tended to and resolved. This includes locating heirs, paying taxes, settling debts and distributing assets. These tasks are handled by a fiduciary, or someone who has an obligation to act in the best interests of the decedent.
Actually establishing an estate plan is an important first step. Proactive strategies can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. However, you want to make sure you do things right. The smallest of mistakes can create the largest amount of chaos during difficult times.