Probate Estate and Trust Administration
When an Ohio resident passes away, one of the tasks that falls to their loved ones is dealing with the assets and debts the deceased person (decedent) has left behind. The process of distributing someone’s assets according to their will (or Ohio law, if there is no will) is called probate, or estate administration.
The probate process can be a stressful and confusing one, especially for someone who is grieving and has never administered an estate before. The personal representative of the estate is the person responsible for carrying out the process. A personal representative may also be called an executor of a will, or an administrator of the estate if the decedent did not have a will.
Fortunately, it is not necessary for you as a personal representative to navigate the process on your own. An experienced Ohio probate attorney can guide you through the process. Because a probate attorney’s services are considered a benefit to the estate, the attorney’s fees are usually paid from estate assets, not out of the personal representative’s pocket.
At Schroeder, Blankemeyer and Clinton, probate estate and trust administration is a large part of our practice. We take pride in helping our clients complete the administration of a loved one’s estate with both skill and sensitivity.
Steps in the Probate Administration Process
The probate process involves a number of steps. An attorney can help you understand where to start, and make sure that all necessary documents have been properly prepared and filed, so that the process doesn’t take longer than it needs to.
Some of the duties of a personal representative include:
- Locating the will and filing it with the probate court;
- Filing an application for probate;
- Notifying heirs (or obtaining a waiver of notice) and creditors of the estate;
- Identifying, securing, and inventorying assets of the estate;
- Paying legitimate debts of the estate;
- Filing tax returns and paying any taxes owed by the estate; and
- Distributing estate assets to heirs and beneficiaries and closing the estate.
Because probate matters affect the rights of heirs and other interested parties, they are necessarily very detailed. Skilled legal guidance can help Ohio personal representatives avoid mistakes that could delay the resolution of the probate matter and potentially lead to personal liability for the personal representative.
Experienced, Compassionate Representation for Putnam County Probate and Estate Administration
Having an attorney who is experienced in Ohio probate and the Putnam County courts can lift a great burden from the shoulders of a personal representative. At Schroeder, Blankemeyer and Clinton, we regularly handle Ohio probate and trust administration matters ranging from the simple and straightforward to the sophisticated and complex. Our attorneys have been involved in estate matters dealing with family farm or business succession, disputes between heirs, out-of-state assets and heirs, and much more.
As a firm, we are deeply rooted in our community, and we devote much of our practice to estate planning. For these reasons, many of the probate matters we assist with involve clients and families with whom we have worked for many years. We consider it an honor and a privilege to support grieving families in their time of need, and strive to give them not only the legal advice they require, but the personal attention they deserve.
We invite you to explore our website, meet our attorneys, learn about our practice areas, and contact us to schedule a consultation regarding an Ohio probate matter. We look forward to working with you.