Last Will & Testament Lawyer in Mentor, Ohio
Serving Northeast Ohio
The process we refer to as Probate is the system by which the decedent’s assets are gathered and distributed to their beneficiaries or heirs through the county court. Those who die without a Will have the distribution of their assets determined by the State of Ohio laws of intestate (without a Will) succession. The probate process can take longer and have more court involvement when there is no Will. When the decedent dies with a Will, their assets are gathered by their executor and distributed according to the provisions of the Will.
Distribution of Assets without a Will
The process of distribution of the decedent’s assets without a Will or intestate begins with an application to administer the Estate of the decedent. This process can be started by any applicant, including a creditor of the decedent. The Application is filed with a death certificate for the decedent and the applicable bond.
What Are the Duties of the Administrator?
The Court then holds a hearing and appoints the applicant or another appropriate person. That person is the Administrator of the Estate of the deceased and is the person responsible for the gathering and distribution of the assets to the appropriate creditors and heirs of the deceased. The Administrator is responsible to report to the Court the assets and the debts of the decedent, how those debts were paid, and how the assets were distributed. Upon completion of the Probate process, the Estate is closed and the Administrator is released.
Distribution of Assets with a Will
The Probate process for a decedent with a Will is similar to that for a person who died intestate. The process is a bit easier to navigate as most Wills give the Executor, the person chosen by the deceased to handle their estate, powers that an Administrator would have to seek a court order to complete, which is, namely the sale of real property. Most Wills also allow for the Executor to act on behalf of the Estate without posting a bond. This saves the Estate money and allows the process of Probate to begin sooner. A bond is required to ensure that if the Administrator, and occasionally the Executor, does or fails to do something that is detrimental to the Estate or the interests of the heirs or beneficiaries, there are funds to replace those lost by the Administrator or Executor.
What Are the Duties of the Executor?
The Executor has the same duties and responsibilities as an Administrator. They are to gather the assets and debts of the deceased and distribute the assets. They are to pay the debts according to the laws of the State of Ohio in regard to the order in which they are to be paid and the amount to be paid on each debt and then distribute the assets of the estate according to the provisions of the will. Once the Executor has completed their duties, they report this information to the Court, the Estate is closed, and the Executor is released.
What Happens When There Are No Beneficiaries?
When a person passes with or without a Will that does not have beneficiaries or the beneficiaries died before the holder of the assets, the assets must pass to the heirs or beneficiaries through the Probate process. The distribution will default to the laws of Intestate Succession if the will does not provide for enough surviving beneficiaries or if there is no will or are no heirs. If no one can be found to legally accept the assets, then they “escheat” or default to the state. If a person dies and all of their assets have viable beneficiaries or the assets are all held in a Trust, then the Probate process can be avoided. For some decedents, the avoidance of the Probate process is of paramount concern. However, in Ohio, the costs and process of Probate are well regulated and controlled.
Contact Moseman Law Office, LLC – Mentor Last Will and Testament Attorney
As always, consult a last will and testament attorney in Mentor OH to assist with the administration of the distribution of assets of the deceased whether they transfer via beneficiary designation, the process of Probate or under the terms of a Trust. Here at Moseman Law Office, LLC, located in Mentor, Ohio, our probate attorneys can assist you in all aspects of the Probate process.
Moseman Law Office, LLC
Moseman Law Office, LLC is a full-service legal firm located in Mentor, Ohio, serving all of Northeast Ohio and providing personalized legal solutions to its clients.
Moseman Law Office, LLC
8500 Station St., Ste 210
Mentor, OH 44060
Phone: (440) 255-0832