After you pass away, there are steps that must be taken to transfer your assets to your heirs. This is the estate administration process.
If you use a will to state your final wishes, you would name an executor in the document. The executor would handle the estate administration tasks, but some people do not execute wills.
No, the state is involved. The executor is required to admit the will to probate, and the court provides supervision while the estate is being administered.
Under those circumstances, the court would name a personal representative to act as the administrator.
The intestacy rules of the state of Ohio would be utilized by the court. Generally speaking, the closest blood relative or relatives would be the heir to the estate, but there is a specific pecking order.
The court examines the will to make sure that it is valid, and if anyone wants to challenge the will, they could come forward during probate. Final debts are paid by the executor while the process is underway, and the assets are identified, inventoried, and prepared for distribution.
When everything is in order to the court’s satisfaction, the estate is distributed among the heirs in accordance with the wishes of the decedent.
They do not receive their inheritances until the estate has been closed by the court. The probate process will typically take about nine months to a year if there are no particular complications.
No, the estate of administration process is different when a trust has been established. A person or entity that acts as the administrator is the trustee rather than the executor.
We say “entity” because people will sometimes use a professional fiduciary like a trust company or the trust department of the bank.
The trust that is most commonly utilized is the revocable living trust. If you were to create this type of trust, you would act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are living.
In the trust declaration, you would name a trustee to succeed you, and your heirs would be the beneficiaries. You would leave instructions with regard to the way that you want the assets to be transferred to the beneficiaries after you are gone.
When the time comes, the trustee would distribute assets to the beneficiaries. The probate court would not be involved.
Most people would say that a living trust is the far better choice because all the drawbacks of probate are avoided. In addition to the fact that it takes a lot of time, you have the cost factor.
There is a filing fee and the executor is entitled to remuneration. The executor may bring in an attorney and an accountant, and there are appraisal and liquidation expenses. All in all, a noticeable portion of the estate can be consumed during probate.
Another negative is the loss of privacy. Anyone that is interested can access probate records to find out how the assets were distributed.