There are many different assets and forms of property that people may obtain during their lives in Ohio. These assets may have great importance for people or they may just be property that they need for their daily lives. However, no matter what type of property people own or how important it is to them, they cannot bring it with them when they pass away. That is why it is important to plan for their death by drafting a will to dictate who will receive their property.
The will states who will receive the property, however, it does not relieve the family from needing to go through the probate process. In very basic terms this is the process where the court ensures people’s property goes to where they want it to go.
Initially the court will appoint a personal representative. This is usually a person named in the will, but if there is no will, the court will appoint one. Once this person is appointed they must gather the assets, pay the debts and funeral costs and then distribute the assets to the appropriate people.
The amount of time this will take and how complex it will be depends on the number of factors. A couple of the major factors will be whether there is a will and also the number of assets that will need to go through probate.
Assets that do not go through probate
Not all of people’s property go through probate though. This can make the probate process easier because there is less that needs to be distributed. Types of assets that do not go through probate include: property that is in a revocable trust, real property held with another as joint tenants, life insurance policies, retirement accounts with named beneficiaries, bank accounts with a transfer on death clause and other property that automatically transfers to others upon death.
The probate process in Ohio can be a complicated and daunting process for people. Experienced attorneys understand the process and may be able to guide one through it.