Mentor Probate Law office
serving all northeast ohio
The Probate Process
When a loved one passes it can feel overwhelming to maneuver the Probate process. This is the process by which any assets that did not have beneficiaries and that were under the ownership of the deceased are transferred to the beneficiaries or heirs of the deceased. The process is called Probate as that is the court that has the authority to authorize the transfers. The Probate process can be very time intensive and confusing
If the assets of the deceased have beneficiaries or are transferable or payable on death then those assets ‘avoid probate” and are transferred to the named recipients usually with minimal paperwork. If the decedent has and has properly funded a Trust the Probate process can be avoided. The successor Trustee would distribute the assets of the Trust to those named to receive them in the Trust.
The first step in the Probate process is to gather all the assets and debts of the decedent, an original of their death certificate and the original of their Will, if they have one. The named executor/executrix or the person who is making the application to be the administrator if there is no Will must complete the application to administer the estate and all the proper notices and file all that with the court. The court will then appoint that person, or another if multiple applications are pending, to gather and distribute the assets of the deceased.
The Executor/Administrator must account for all the assets in an Inventory and then must account for to whom and where those assets were distributed in Accountings along the way and a Final Account. All of these steps require a filing with the Probate Court and an order allowing the transfers.
Role of the Executor
If the deceased left a Will and the person handling the Probate process is the Executor/Executrix, meaning chosen in the Will, that person has more authority to handle assets of the deceased without a court order. The Will generally allows the Executor/Executrix to sell real estate without a court order. The Will generally states that they can serve without posting a Bond. The Bond is the tool by which the beneficiaries of the Estate of the deceased are protected from theft or mishandling of the assets of the deceased.
Role of an Administrator
If the deceased passed without a Will then the person handling the Probate process is called an Administrator. The Administrator will always have to post a Bond. The Administrator will have to receive a court order for all actions involving disposal of the deceased assets. This can make the Probate process take longer than if the decedent had a Will.
Probate Law Office in Mentor, OH
There are many complications and pitfalls in navigating the Probate process. It is best to enlist the help of an attorney with experience navigating the Probate process. Heather Moseman, probate lawyer in Mentor, Ohio, has over 15 years of combined experience helping our clients through the Probate process. We are here to help you make this difficult and stressful time easier, so contact us today!