If you have recently lost a loved one, you might be wondering whether you and your family need to hire a lawyer to handle your loved one’s estate. Under Ohio law, there are a few situations in which you might not need to go through the full probate process. Read the blog below from Dawes Legal, LLC, to find out more.
Ohio Probate Avoidance
In most circumstances, you will want to seek the advice of an Ohio lawyer to make sure you follow the appropriate procedure for your relative’s estate. Ohio law, however, does allow for so-called “probate avoidance” or “relief from administration.” Situations in which this might be possible include:
- Your loved one placed all of his or her property in a trust prior to passing. Many people opt to place their property in a trust prior to their deaths in order to avoid probate. If the trust was created properly and all property was appropriately placed in it, this is a potential option for avoiding the full probate procedure.However, on the chance that the trust or some of the property does not comply with Ohio law, it would be wise to have an attorney review all of the trust documents.
- Your loved one’s estate amounts to less than $35,000. Under Ohio law, if a decedent’s estate amounts to less than $35,000, you do not need to follow the full probate process. This is considered a “small estate,” and surviving relatives can opt to request permission from the probate court to avoid administration. You can do this on your own, but it is helpful to have advice from a lawyer to make sure your loved one’s estate qualifies for the process and that you file all of the necessary documents.
- Your loved one’s estate amounts to less than $100,000, and a surviving spouse is entitled to the whole estate. A second situation in which relatives can avoid full probate under Ohio law is when the estate amounts to less than $100,000, and a surviving spouse is entitled to the whole estate, either by intestacy laws or by a will. Both of these factors must be present. Again, you can do this alone, but an attorney can easily guide you through the process.
If you are not sure whether you need a lawyer to handle your loved one’s estate, it is best to reach out to a local attorney. A reputable attorney will tell you if you do not actually need to go through a full probate procedure. When you work with the right attorney, you can feel confident you have the information you need to take the best actions for you and your family.
Dawes Legal, LLC, can help you with your estate and probate needs. Contact our office today at (614) 733-9999 to discuss your case with one of our compassionate Ohio attorneys.