When a person dies, dividing their estate amongst beneficiaries can be a complicated process, particularly when a person dies without a will. However, will or not, a person’s estate is subject to probate. At the law offices of Kryszak & Associates, Co., LPA, our Amherst probate attorneys can guide you through the process, and handle the complicated elements of probate on your behalf.
Probate is the legal process of:
The person is who responsible for doing the above is called the estate administrator. If a person dies with a will, then their will will name an executor of the estate who will be responsible for managing the probate process; if no executor is named, the court will appoint an administrator.
One of the downsides of the probate process is that it can be a time consuming, and expensive, undertaking. The Ohio Bar Association suggests that a small estate that does not need to file a federal tax return and that has no credit issues will probably be able to conclude the probate process within six months’ time. However, the administration of a larger estate can take one year or longer!
As for costs, the cost of probate is based on a number of factors. For example, there may be a number of documents that a person must file with the court – filing fees are typically about $200. A person may also need to hire financial professionals to assist them in inventorying the estate, paying taxes, etc. Further, many choose to hire legal professionals, resulting in lawyers’ fees as well.
It is a common misconception that if a person dies without a will, their estate does not have to pass through probate. When a person dies with a will, any remaining balance of the estate after creditors and taxes have been paid will be distributed per the terms of the will. If there is no will, taxes and liabilities must be paid, and then the remaining balance will be distributed per the laws of intestate succession, which name who gets what depending on which heirs survive the decedent. For example, in Amherst, a spouse will inherit everything upon a decedent’s death, even if there are children from that marriage. Or, if there is no spouse, children will inherit everything.
Probate is a complicated and time-consuming process, and can be an emotional one as well. If you are tasked with handling the administrator of your loved one’s estate, we strongly encourage you to contact our experienced Amherst probate attorneys at the law offices of Kryszak & Associates, Co., LPA for legal counsel and assistance. We are highly experienced in probate law, and can help to ease the burden placed on your shoulders.