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How does probate work?

If you have developed an estate plan or a will in Ohio, then you may have heard about probate. The process is often vilified because people do not really understand how it works. In general, probate is designed to ensure your assets are handled properly, according to the Ohio State Bar Association.

Probate begins when you die. You will either appoint someone to be the executor of your state or the court will appoint an administrator. This person will then oversee the distribution of your asset according to your wishes or what he or she believes to be your wishes. This person also must take care of your assets throughout the probate process.

The executor or administrator will have to find your heirs and pay off your outstanding debts. He or she will distribute the assets as ordered by the court, who oversees the whole process. How long it takes really depends on various factors. It could be very fast if you have few assets and/or few heirs. It could take longer if you have a complex estate or heirs that need to be tracked down. 

If you have a small estate, meaning you have few assets and the value of your estate is low, then probate may be faster because some administrative duties are not required. If you are leaving everything to your spouse, then the process can be settled very quickly for low cost. At the end of things, all your assets should be distributed and your estate settled. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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Sandusky Office
165 East Washington Row
Sandusky, OH 44870

Phone: 419-504-0052
Phone: 419-625-8324
Fax: 419-625-9007
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115 West Perry Street
Port Clinton, OH 43452

Phone: 419-504-0052
Phone: 419-734-3174
Fax: 419-734-3175
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