Probate Attorneys in Dayton, Ohio
At StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law, we understand that dealing with the legalities of probate can be emotionally taxing, particularly in a time of grief. Depending on what issues arise as your loved one's estate passes through the probate system, an already stressful situation can become even more overwhelming. Our dedicated team is here to offer you compassionate guidance and professional representation, relieving you of the heaviness of your legal burdens so you can focus on what matters most — healing and remembering your loved one.
Our probate attorneys understand the gravity of your situation. The passing of a loved one is a challenging time, but you're not alone. We're here to guide you through every step of the way. To learn how we can help, call our firm in Dayton, Ohio, to set up a time to talk. We serve clients and families throughout the surrounding communities, and we're ready to put our experience to work for you.
We believe in working as a team to find the best solutions for you. Our attorneys — John H. Stachler, Sean H. Harmon, and Matthew T. Tipton — bring their collective knowledge and experience to help navigate the intricacies of your case. We don't just handle your case; we educate and coach you, ensuring you understand each step of the process and make informed decisions along the way.
Our Estate and Probate Services
From administering estates, wills, and trusts to planning estate tax returns, we've got you covered. We can take care of everything — receiving payments due to the estate, collecting debts and claims, determining heirs and beneficiaries, investigating claims against the estate, and distributing assets to heirs. We also provide guidance on creating and updating wills and on probate and estate planning.
Why Choose Us
Choosing StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law means choosing a firm dedicated to relieving your stress and helping you seek a favorable result. We're not just your attorneys; we're your partners in this journey.
We're not a super formal, rigid firm. Our work speaks volumes, if you walk into our offices you may see some lawyers in suits and some in shorts. We spend a lot of time working on the cases and genuinely care about our clients. Unlike larger law firms, our attorneys pick up the phone and get things done. We move faster, and our price tags are smaller.
While we're based in Dayton, Ohio, we extend our services to clients throughout Warren, Greene County, Clark County, Miamisburg, Butler County, Preble County, Centerville, Springboro, and Vandalia. So, wherever you are, we're here to help.
What You Should Know About Probate Before Calling a Lawyer
Probate is the way we legally administer certain types of property owned by a deceased individual (known as the decedent). It's the process that ensures all claims, expenses, and taxes are properly paid, and the remaining estate is distributed to beneficiaries according to the decedent's will or Ohio law. Probate property includes assets titled in the decedent's name that do not transfer on death.
There are also types of assets known as non-probate property. They include assets held jointly with right of survivorship, property held in a trust, accounts with payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) designations, and insurance or retirement benefits with named beneficiaries. As their name suggests, these won't be included in the probate process; they'll pass directly to the named beneficiaries.
Navigating the Probate Process
The probate process requires appointing a person to administer the estate. This can be an executor named in the decedent's will or an administrator appointed by the probate court. They will be responsible for tasks such as:
Caring for the decedent's property
Collecting payments due to the estate
Determining heirs and beneficiaries
Investigating claims against the estate
Carrying out the instructions of the probate court
All of this will be supervised by the probate court, ensuring everything is handled correctly.
Costs and Duration of Probate
The costs associated with probate include court fees and attorney fees. Typically, court costs are around $200, and attorney fees can be based on an hourly rate or according to the probate court's fee schedule. Executors or administrators are entitled to receive a fee set by Ohio law, which is a percentage of the value of probate property and income.
As for how long probate takes, it depends on the complexity of the estate. A small estate without federal estate tax issues or creditor problems can be settled within six months. However, if a federal estate tax return is required or there are audits or litigation, the administration can take more than a year or even several years to complete. Distributions of estate assets may be possible before all probate matters are finalized.
The Role of a Will
Having a properly drafted will ensures that your probate property is distributed according to your wishes. It also allows you to choose an executor, nominate a guardian for minor children, and potentially waive the requirement of a surety bond. It's essential to review and update your will periodically with an attorney.
In conclusion, understanding probate in Ohio is crucial for anyone involved in estate planning or dealing with the administration of a deceased person's estate. Remember, our team is here to help you through every phase of the process.
Probate Attorneys in Dayton, Ohio
Probate is necessary. It gives the executor or administrator legal authority to control and distribute the assets of the estate, pay outstanding debts and taxes, and distribute the remainder of the estate to beneficiaries and heirs. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Lean on us. Let's navigate this journey together. Reach out to StachlerHarmon Attorneys at Law today.