What Actually Is Probate And Is It As Bad As We Hear Or Assume?
Probate is a legal process where we transferred a deceased’s assets either by will or by Ohio’s inheritance laws. Probate is when there is an asset in a deceased person’s name and when you transfer it. Many clients aren’t aware that there are different types of probate cases, so the type of probate case depends upon the amount of assets in this deceased person’s name. So the smaller the asset, the quicker the case. The court is very slow, so I think the biggest thing with probate is it takes so much time to get something transferred. I think that’s the biggest hurdle and issue that we have to deal with. It’s just the time.
What Are The Factors That Set The Stage For Probate To Take Place?
I have clients that call and say, “A loved one passed away,” and I say okay. Usually, the person that calls knows what’s there. There was a vehicle, bank accounts, or something like that. I get a feel for what assets we need to transfer. So, once they give me a basic idea of what needs to be transferred, then I ask, “Is there a will?” And either they need to find one, or someone needs to file to be the executor at the probate court.
So, once I get a basic background of the situation, what’s going on, what’s have a probate case for me to file, will they have a will or not, then I meet with the clients. We hash out a game plan of what to do, and then we file that particular case with the probate court.
Are There Options For Avoiding Probate?
Yes. So, at my office, we offer that estate planning package, which will help avoid probate. So the number one question I always ask is what asset are you trying to protect because there are different estate planning tools. Our estate planning package is a catchall just if something’s lingering. But if there is a particular asset that you were afraid of losing, we focus on that and see what specific tool we can use in that scenario.
What helps avoid probate is the power of attorneys. The power of attorneys is useful when you’re alive. So, if somebody’s sick in the nursing home, they can’t get to the bank, they can’t sell the house, you can get the power of attorney and your agent to help manage and transfer assets before you pass. That way, you don’t have to go to probate court. So, there are numerous options and estate planning tools that we can use to help avoid probate. We got to know what the client’s goals are and what assets we’re looking to protect.
What Is The Role My Attorney Will Play In The Probate Process?
Once a client hires us, they have to sign a fee agreement, and then we hash out a game plan. There are different types of probation cases. So with the different types of probate cases, there are various options available and other processes. But the fundamental role that attorneys play is we do all the work. You hire us, and we do all the work. We need clients to sign off on the paperwork and get us some paperwork, but we help them through every step of the probate process.
Is It Realistic That Someone Navigate Or Try And Navigate The Probate Process On Their Own? And Maybe Let’s Talk About Some Pitfalls That You Can Fall Into Or Some Probate Horror Stories That You’ve Heard Or Had To Deal With After The Fact.
I get this question all the time because everybody has internet access. Nine times out of ten, they have already Google-searched it first. By the time they come to me, they have a basic idea of the process. So then they’ll go down to the courthouse and get the paperwork, and then once they look at it, they become overwhelmed. So, that’s when I say, “Well, you come to my office, hire me, and I’ll do it for you.”
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