When is Probate Necessary in Ohio?

July 14, 2020  

After the passing of a person, his or her estate may go to probate. Few people understand the process of probate in Ohio as well as when it is and is not necessary. The experienced probate attorneys at Kryszak Law Firm have helped many clients throughout Ohio understand and navigate the probate process for their own estates as well as for the estates of their loved ones. To schedule a free consultation of your probate questions, call or contact our office today. 

What Assets do and do Not Go Through Probate?

The type of assets in an estate determine whether or not they must go through the probate process after the passing of the estate holder. All assets that are in the deceased’s name will need to pass through probate before being distributed according to the estate plan. However, there are many types of assets that can be transferred directly to beneficiaries without the need for the court’s probate process. These types of assets include the following:

  • Trust assets
  • Survivorship tenancy and joint tenancy property
  • Tenancy by the entirety property, if established between 1972 and 1984
  • Retirement accounts
  • Life insurance benefits
  • Payable on death accounts
  • Transfer on death property

An experienced Ohio probate attorney will be able to review the assets in your estate and advise you on what will and will not pass through probate based on the current configuration of your property.

Small Estate Simplified Probate

In addition, Ohio provides for a simplified probate when the estate is small. To qualify, the total estate assets must total $35,000 or less, or if the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate and the estate assets total less than $100,000. This is a streamlined probate process that typically takes only a couple of months to complete, compared to the full probate process that can take months or even years, depending on the complexity of the estate, the number of creditors, and whether any challenges may be raised by potential heirs to the estate. 

When is Probate Not Required?

Ohio law does not require probate when the estate assets are negligible. If an estate’s assets total $5,000 or less, or if the estate’s assets are worth the cost of the funeral, then probate is not required. If one of these situations applies, anyone paying the expenses can ask the court to release the estate from its probate obligations. A surviving spouse can also request that the Ohio court release an estate from probate if they inherit everything and are entitled to a family allowance, all of the estate assets are worth less than $45,000, and the surviving spouse has already paid for the funeral costs. 

Talk to Our Attorneys Now 

Ohio probate can be a daunting process, and navigating the complexities of probate can feel overwhelming after the loss of a loved one. At Kryszak Law Firm, our team of highly qualified legal professionals is here to help simplify the probate process for you and your family as well as answer questions you may have about probate assets. Call the office or contact us today to learn more.