Probate Court refers to the process of distributing a person’s assets after they have passed. Whenever an individual passes away, the probate court will be the court that oversees their “estate” to ensure that the assets are distributed properly. The Probate Court will look at estate planning documents such as a Last Will & Testament in order to determine how distributions should be made. The Court will review the Last Will & Testament to ensure it was properly executed. If an individual passes without leaving a Last Will & Testament, or what is called intestate, the Probate Court will then require that any estate assets be distributed in accordance with Ohio law of intestate succession.
In some scenarios, the Probate Court not required to distribute assets after a person’s passing. For example, if assets are jointly held, held with rights of survivorship, or have a designated beneficiary, these type of assets are general able to pass without the Probate Court’s approval. Part of developing an estate plan is to try and avoid having your assets pass through the Probate Court if possible. If you would like to develop an estate plan or if you are in the process of having to open estate for a loved one that has recently passed away, contact the probate attorneys at Ernst & Associates for a free consultation today.