Columbus, Ohio Probate Attorney

Probate Overview

The probate court process can be complex and confusing and it is our mission at Winkler Legal, LLC to make certain that you comply with the many legal requirements. Winkler Legal, LLC represents estate executors and administrators, estate beneficiaries, and estate creditors.

What is the Probate Court?

Each county in Ohio has a Probate Court.  The Probate Court is responsible for supervising and adjudicating the administration of estates in the state of Ohio.  The decedent’s county of residence at death determines which Probate Court has jurisdiction. Whether the decedent had a will or not, the Probate Court has jurisdiction to ensure that an estate is administered correctly. The Probate Court also has jurisdiction to issue marriage licenses, to grant or approve adoptions, guardianship proceedings, the involuntary commitment of the mentally ill, and land appropriation cases.

What is a Probate Estate?

The probate estate is that portion of a decedent’s estate that does not pass to heirs by beneficiary designation, survivorship designation or payable on death designations.  A probate proceeding is a process by which decedent’s assets are gathered and distributed in accordance with decedent’s will, or Ohio Intestacy Statute. It is important to have a Central Ohio probate attorney with the experience and understanding to provide you with the right guidance.

What Procedures are Involved in Probating an Estate?

In order to probate an estate, a person with authority to administer the estate must be appointed by the Probate Court.  If the decedent had a will then an executor would be appointed, and if the decedent did not have a will then a family member or interested party could apply to be appointed as the estate administrator.  The executor/administrator is responsible for 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.  Estate administration is complex and it is recommended that executors/administrators utilize the services of an attorney with significant legal experience. At Winkler Legal, 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, LLC to assist you in streamlining the estate administration process through obtaining relief from administration.