Probate Attorney

Probate Overview

The probate process can be complex and confusing and it is my mission at Winkler Legal Services, LLC to make certain that you comply with the many legal requirements. I offer legal representation for estate executors and administrators.

What is the Probate Court?

The Probate Court is established in each county of Ohio to supervise the administration of the estate of a decedent who was a legal resident in the county at the time of his or her death. Each transaction involved in the administration of an estate is subject to the examination and approval of the Probate Court.

Other matters within the Probate Court’s jurisdiction are: issuance of marriage licenses, adoptions, guardianship proceedings, the involuntary commitment of the mentally ill, and land appropriation cases.

What is a Probate Estate?

A probate estate is a legal proceeding provided for by Ohio law to determine the assets of a deceased person who was an Ohio resident at the time of death, the value of those assets, and the distribution of those assets to the persons entitled to them by law. It is important to have a Central Ohio probate attorney with the experience and understanding to provide you the right guidance.

What Procedures are Involved in Probating an Estate?

Probating an estate involves gathering the decedent’s assets; paying valid claims against the estate; and finally, distributing the remaining estate assets to beneficiaries or heirs pursuant to decedent’s last will or Ohio’s statute of descent and distribution. The individual responsible for probating the estate is called the executor / administrator. Executors and administrators act in a fiduciary capacity as it relates to the estates beneficiaries and heirs. Estate administration is complex and it is recommended that executors / administrators utilize the services of an attorney. Attorney fees must be approved by the Probate Court and, usually, are paid from the estate assets directly. At Winkler Legal Services, LLC we take extraordinary steps to guide you through administering a probate estate.

The duties of an executor or administrator are:

1. To determine the names, ages, and degree of relationship of heirs;
2. To take possession of, and conserve all of the real and personal property of the decedent;
3. To file with the Probate Court an inventory of all the assets held in the name of the decedent;
4. To receive and determine the validity of all claims against the decedent’s estate;
5. To file tax returns and to pay income and estate taxes;
6. To make distribution of the estate’s assets to the proper persons;
7. To file an account of all receipts and disbursements made by the executor or administrator with the Probate Court.

Relief from Estate Administration

In Ohio, if the total value of all property in the decedent’s name is $35,000 or less, the estate can be relieved from Ohio’s formal estate administration requirements. Please contact Winkler Legal Services, LLC to assist you in streamlining the estate administration process through obtaining relief from administration.