The purpose of a will is simple: It allows people to state clearly how they wish to have their property divided and distributed after they die. While a will is a powerful tool, it is not self-executing. A court needs to examine the will and officially order the distribution of property through an executor. This process is known as probate. The attorneys at Ernst & Associates help families in Warren County get through the probate process as easily as possible. We provide our clients with individualized attention. Our skilled estate law attorneys combine the level of experience you would find at a big firm with the service you would expect from a much smaller one.
The purpose of probate in Ohio is to settle all debts and taxes and distribute an estate according to the deceased person’s (decedent’s) wishes. Property owned solely by the decedent generally goes through probate. Trusts and shared assets are usually not included. Small estates may be eligible for a simplified process. Our attorneys help you determine whether probate is necessary in your case.
Probate is conducted by the executor. This person is usually named in the will. If there is no named executor, the court appoints an administrator. In either situation, the court approves the person and issues him or her “Letters of Authority.” At this point, the executor or administrator’s duties include:
Executors and administrators receive a fee for their efforts. Our attorneys help with all of these steps. We provide you with strategies to fairly and expeditiously probate the estate so that you can move on and give your family peace of mind.
Unfortunately, the probate process isn’t always a smooth one. Sometimes there is a challenge to the validity of a will or its contents. These challenges are often accompanied by a claim of improper conduct or influence by someone close to the decedent before his or her death. Our attorneys represent parties on either side of these disputes. In these situations we are determined to discover and prove whether a will was validly executed. We work with clients to demonstrate whether a will’s contents wrongly exclude certain family members. Our attorneys also handle disputes based on the actions of a will’s administrator or executor.
At Ernst & Associates, we assist families with estate division matters. Our experienced attorneys guide you through each step of the Ohio probate process. For help making this overwhelming task much easier, call us at 513-970-6200 or contact us online.