If you believe you might need professional legal help for a probate case, you should not wait to schedule your first meeting with an Ohio probate attorney. But what should you ask the attorney about your case? You likely have many questions, and you should not hesitate to ask any of them. While your questions and concerns will vary based on your circumstances, the following questions are common in an initial meeting with a probate lawyer.
How Does Probate Work?
You might have an idea that probate is the process of administering and closing out an estate after someone passes away, but you should let your lawyer go over each step of the process with you. The process starts when you file a will with the proper county probate court in Ohio and ends with the court closing the estate, though a lot needs to happen in between. The probate lawyer can clear up any confusion you may have and let you know what to expect.
Is Probate Necessary?
You might even wonder if probate is needed or if there might be a simplified process you can follow. Ohio does have a simplified probate process you might be able to use if the estate meets the requirements, and your attorney can advise you whether you might qualify for this option to save time and other resources.
What Does the Executor Do?
If you are meeting with the attorney, chances are you are the executor of the estate, as designated in the last will and testament. However, many people designated for this role have little or no idea what it entails. Mistakes by an executor can be costly, so you should know exactly what your duties and responsibilities will be. Your lawyer can help to ensure that you comply with your fiduciary duty and complete all necessary tasks during probate.
How Do You Handle Creditors?
Often, creditors might start calling as soon as someone passes away, but what do you say to them, and what are your obligations? You must follow the procedures to notify creditors of the death and fulfill all debts that you can from the estate before you distribute anything to beneficiaries. You might have to sell property to pay off debts, or the estate might be insolvent and unable to cover all the debts claimed. You also want to defend against invalid creditor claims should they arise.
Do You Have a Probate Dispute?
It is not always the executor of the will who needs legal help. Sometimes, you might have other concerns, such as the will being invalid or the executor abusing their authority and position. In this situation, a probate lawyer can review your situation and advise you whether you might want to bring a probate dispute before the court.
Speak with an Ohio Probate Attorney Today
At Kryszak Law Firm, we meet with prospective clients and answer their questions to give them the best idea of the legal help they need. Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today.