If you are an executor of an estate or an heir or beneficiary who stands to inherit after a death, you need to know what to expect during the probate process. Zimmer Law Firm can provide you with personalized assistance in order to move effectively through the probate process while ensuring the wishes of the deceased are honored.
Both an executor of an estate and those who stand to inherit should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible because the probate process can be a complicated and lengthy process. Zimmer Law Firm is here to help. You can also review the checklist of steps that must be taken during probate in order to get an idea of what to expect and what steps must be accomplished to wind up the affairs of the deceased.
This checklist is a basic list of the tasks that you need to ensure are accomplished during probate. Everyone’s estate is different and there may be many additional steps required in your specific circumstances, so you should be certain to talk with an experienced attorney for advice on the particular proceeding that you are involved in.
Some of the basic steps that you will need to ensure are accomplished include the following:
- Find any wills and other estate planning documents created by the deceased (the decedent) such as trust documents.
- Present the decedent’s will to the court so its validity can be determined. An opportunity must be provided in case anyone wishes to contest the will.
- File probate paperwork with the probate court in the county where the deceased is domiciled. If property is owned in multiple jurisdictions, ancillary probate may also need to take place. This is an additional streamlined probate proceeding in other jurisdictions where the property is owned.
- Go to court for the appointment of an executor of an estate or estate administrator.
- Take an inventory of all of the deceased person’s assets. The executor of an estate needs to know about everything that the deceased owned.
- Provide notice to heirs or beneficiaries of the probate process.
- Provide notice to creditors and other interested parties of the probate process and the opportunity to make claims on the estate. Valid creditor claims have to be paid out of the estate assets.
- Collect any outstanding debts that are owed to the estate.
- File appropriate state and federal tax forms.
- Pay any estate taxes that are due based on the value of the estate.
- Facilitate the transfer of assets to new owners. Titles and deeds may need to be updated in order for heirs or beneficiaries to take ownership of the property the deceased person owned.
The process of winding up the affairs of an estate can differ if there is no will and intestacy laws apply. Things also become more complicated if someone contests the will and it must be defended. Zimmer Law Firm can help with these basic steps that are a part of the probate process and can also assist with more complex issues that may occur. Give us a call at 513-721-1513 to find out how our Ohio estate planning lawyers can help you.