What is Probate in Fairfield County OH and When Does it Come Into Play?

What is Probate in Fairfield County OH and When Does it Come Into Play?
February 10, 2016 Shannon Dawes

Clearing up the confusion when it comes to probate in Fairfield County Ohio.

Probate in Fairfield County Ohio, or anywhere else for that matter, is a confusing term and an even more confusing process. If you’ve never lost a loved than it’s likely you have no experience or information on the reality that is probate, and there is a lot of misinformation and confusion when it comes to this legal process. Here’s what you need to know about probate, what it is, and when it comes into play.

What is Probate?

When someone dies and leaves behind property that they solely own, probate then acts to administer that property. Not only does it help to determine who is entitled to receive the property, but it also ensures that expenses and taxes are properly paid. If the decedent left behind a will, the probate courts will determine the last valid will of the individual and will oversee the distribution of assets. If the individual passed away without a will their estate will be distributed according to Ohio law.

What Happens During Probate?

When an individual dies and their estate is probated a person is appointed to conduct the administration of the estate. If the individual died with a will, the executor of the will is usually appointed. If the individual died without a will (intestate) then the probate court will appoint an administrator. During the probate process the executor or administrator will do the following:

  • Care for the decedent’s property
  • Receive payments due to the decedent’s estate
  • Determine the rightful heirs
  • Determine validity of beneficiaries as declared in a will
  • Investigate any claims against the estate and pay all debts including taxes
  • Carry out distribution of assets and property as determined by the probate court

The probate court supervises the work of the executor or administrator. The procedures that the executor or administrator may perform can be complex and may require assistance from an attorney.

The legal process that is necessary after an individual dies is complicated and can be lengthy. Instead of trying to navigate it on your own, it’s important to have legal guidance. For help with any issues related to probate in Fairfield County Ohio, contact the team at Dawes Legal.