The death of a loved one brings challenging times and significant responsibilities for the family members left behind. If you have recently lost someone, you may have numerous questions about the probate process and what to expect. The details below may help you better understand the process and know your role and responsibilities to your deceased relative.
After someone passes away, they leave their estate behind. Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s assets such as money and real estate are divided up according to the person’s will, and any outstanding creditors are paid.
Most estates in Ohio will go through probate. It typically takes anywhere from six months to a year for the process to end. However, smaller estates take less time, and estates that are more complicated may take longer.
To ease the process, an executor of the will serves as the person responsible for meeting all of the legal requirements. Often, this person was chosen by the deceased prior to their death. The executor can be a family member or a professional familiar with the probate process.
Despite the fact that most estates will go through probate, there are ways to avoid the process. One way is to list beneficiaries for assets such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts. As long as there is a named beneficiary, the account will typically not go through probate.
Additionally, creating a living revocable trust and placing assets within it can eliminate the need to use probate. Once assets are in a trust and there is a beneficiary, there is no longer a need to use the probate process.
Settling the estate of a dear one can bring about many complications. Hopefully, with the knowledge above, you feel more confident in helping to settle the affairs of your recently departed.