Myths About the Ohio Probate Process

January 25, 2022  

Being named the executor of your loved one’s estate is one of the most difficult burdens that anyone will have to bear. It is made worse by the dread that many feel dealing with the minutia and red tape of going through the probate process.

Essentially, probate is the process of divesting one estate into other estates. It need not be stressful with the help of a Sheffield Village probate attorney. Yet many feel overwhelmed by the process. The following are some common myths associated with probate and how they unnaturally increase the anxiety of executors.

The government will take everything

The government charges for court and filing fees, but it does not take everything. In fact, it is so rare that the government “inherits” the wealth of one of its citizens, that the term used to describe this process “escheat” comes from Medieval times. Even those who pass without a will have their assets distributed to spouses and children. If there is no spouse and children, then the government or executor will find the next closest living relative. Only when all living relatives have been exhausted does the estate become escheated to the state. I doubt there are very many lawyers who have ever seen an estate escheated to the government.

Creditors will devour your loved one’s estate

Actually, this one is kind of true. If you pass while you are in debt, then the executor must alert your creditors to the fact of your passing. They would then have the opportunity to collect their debts from the probate estate. However, you can make it much more difficult for creditors to raid your estate in probate if you plan ahead. Trusts are much more difficult for creditors to get ahold of. In order to encumber assets held in the trust, they must sue the trust directly. Since the trust is dispersed on the date of your passing, they often do not have the opportunity. 

Probate costs a lot of money

Probate costs are generally around 5% of the entire value of the estate. So, assuming that nothing goes wrong with the will and there are no unhappy heirs threatening lawsuits, probate should not cost you an extraordinary portion of the overall estate. When disputes over the will arise or other encumbrances emerge, then the costs can begin to accumulate quickly.

Probate takes a long time

Generally, the complexity of the estate, creditor claims, and will disputes are what cause the probate process to take longer than it should. That said, most estates are closed within a year. The executor does have to wait until a specific amount of time has passed to allow creditors the opportunity to file claims on the estate. But once the taxes and debts are paid, the estate can be closed.

Talk to a Sheffield Village, OH Probate Attorney Today

Kryszak Law Firm, Co., LPA helps Ohio executors execute their loved one’s estate free of anxiety. We can guide you through the process, ensure that all legal requirements are met, and prepare and file paperwork for you. Call today to schedule an appointment and we can discuss your needs immediately.