The loss of a loved one is never easy. But the immediate aftermath of a family member’s passing can become even harder when grief and sadness are compounded by a confusing and lengthy court process and a range of financial and practical challenges. Those left behind bear the responsibility of wrapping up their loved one’s affairs, including identifying assets and heirs, paying outstanding liabilities, distributing property, and navigating an unfamiliar and complex probate process.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or perplexed by that process, wondering what you need to do or where you can get answers, we can help. The Elyria probate lawyers at King & Chavez provide sound counsel and compassionate guidance for clients throughout the entire probate administration process.
We’ll work closely with you, explaining in clear, straightforward terms what to expect and what needs to be done. We’ll stand by your side and bring you and your family clarity, finality, and peace of mind. In the unfortunate but not uncommon event of a conflict among family members or others around your loved one’s estate, we stand ready to vigorously protect your interests and that of the estate in probate litigation.
What Is Probate in Ohio?
Probate refers to the court process of identifying, gathering, and distributing a decedent’s assets and addressing any of his or her liabilities after death. While comprehensive estate planning can minimize court involvement in such matters, probate is still necessary to pass ownership of probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries even with a valid will. When someone dies without a will, probate is required to transfer ownership of those assets to those people who are designated heirs under Ohio’s laws of intestate succession.
How We Help With Probate Administration
As probate attorneys, we believe that our role is to relieve you of the stress, time commitment, and uncertainty that the probate process can create. We do so efficiently and cost-effectively, leveraging over four decades of experience to definitively resolve all matters involved in probate.
If a recently deceased family member or other individual named you as executor of their estate, we will help you get appointed by the probate court so that you have full legal authority to take custody of the deceased’s property, pay any final debts and expenses associated with the administration of the estate and then make distributions to beneficiaries named in the will. With our extensive experience and complete understanding of the nuances of probate law and procedure, we can ensure that the entire process is completed in accordance with Ohio law and the local rules of the probate court.
If a recently passed individual did not leave a will or name an executor, we can help get a family member or other suitable person appointed as administrator of the individual’s estate to do the same things as we would do for an executor.
Experienced and Efficient Handling of All Aspects of Probate Administration
For executors and administrators alike, can handle every aspect of probate administration, including:
- Application for Authority to Administer Estate: This is the form we file to get a probate court to grant a named executor the authority to conclude the affairs of the deceased family member.
- Identification and Notification of Next of Kin: As required by the court, we will obtain names and addresses of all next of kin and persons named in the will and report this information to the court. We then send out the court required notifications to those individuals.
- Preparation of Application to Admit Will to Probate.
- If decedent left no will, filing the appropriate paperwork to have a family member or other suitable person appointed as an administrator of the decedent’s estate.
- Preparing and filing the appropriate Appointment of Appraiser paperwork, if necessary.
- Assisting with obtaining a bond if required by the court.
- Monitoring and advising the fiduciary regarding statutes of limitations for will contest periods and other elections available to surviving spouse and children.
- Monitoring and advising the fiduciary of deadlines for pleadings required by the court
- Assisting the fiduciary of the estate with identifying, valuing and taking custody of the deceased’s assets and reporting an inventory of same to the court.
- Helping the fiduciary determine which expenses and creditor claims are required to be paid, which can be rejected, and the priority of creditor claims.
- Working with the fiduciary to prepare accountings required by the court showing receipts of property in the estate, payment of expenses, and disbursements to persons named in the will.
- Filing appropriate paperwork with the IRS to notify it of the appointment of a fiduciary.
- Preparing and obtaining appropriate IRS forms from beneficiaries so the fiduciary can safely make distributions to them without personal liability to IRS for any back taxes.
- Preparing and obtaining appropriate receipts and consents from beneficiaries to comply with court requirements.
- Preparing and filing appropriate court pleadings to transfer any residence or other real estate in the name of the deceased to the surviving spouse or other family members as named in the will or help with the sale of such residence if no family member wishes to occupy it.
- Working and coordinating with the family’s tax and investment advisors to ensure proper reporting and minimize taxes and disruptions to the family’s investments that surviving family members may be relying upon for their daily living expenses.
- Determining if estate tax returns are required and, if so, preparing federal and state estate tax returns.
Call the Elyria Probate Attorneys at King & Chavez Today
At King & Chavez, we welcome the opportunity to meet you and discuss your probate questions and concerns. Please call us at 440-365-0386 or contact us onlinetoday.