Many people dread the probate process, and it is true that sometimes the process can be lengthy, complicated and overwhelming. This is especially true if you are navigating your way through probate while still grieving the death of a family member or loved one.
The purpose of probate is to properly distribute the property in someone’s estate after their death, as well as pay any debts or taxes that they owed.
If the person died with a will, the property is distributed to heirs according to the terms of the will. If the person who died did not have a will, the property is distributed according to Ohio probate law.
What is an administrator?
One of the first steps in the probate process is appointing an administrator. This is a person charged with overseeing the distribution of the estate.
The administrator has many responsibilities, including identifying all heirs and estate property and correctly distributing the property to heirs. An administrator also ensures that all outstanding debts get paid and any necessary tax returns are filed.
How much does it cost and how long does it take?
There is no set cost for probate. The total amount paid typically depends on the specific circumstances; however, it is generally around $200. Remember, the cost may include court or administrative fees.
As with the cost of probate, the time of the probate process varies in each case. Not all estates require that a tax return be filed, and without this requirement, the process can usually be completed more quickly.
The probate process for small estates that do not require the filing of a tax return may only take approximately 6 months to complete, while larger estates or estates requiring a tax return to be filed can take a year or more.
You may still have many questions
Although the probate process may at first seem daunting, it is often nothing more than a simple legal proceeding. There may be unexpected events along the way, but an experienced probate attorney can guide you through each step of the process.