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If you are currently dealing with, or about to deal with, the Ohio state court system with respect to a probate or estate issue - the following information should be helpful to you.

Probate law governs estate matters when someone who, such as a family member or other loved one, passes away. These laws insure that creditors are paid properly and that assets are distributed correctly to the "heirs," or the descendant(s) of the estate.

What is the purpose of Probate? Probate is the legal process that deals with estate assets and property, with regard to heirs and creditors. Probate begins with a "petition" to open the estate and name a personal representative who is responsible for the administration of the deceased's property.

The next step is when an official Notice of Creditors is printed in a local newspaper and Notice of Administration is sent to other involved parties. Creditors then have a set amount of time to file their claims from the first date of publication. Then the personal representative can pay the debt and distribute the remaining estate. Finally, a petition for discharge is filed, and the estate is closed.

Ohio Probate Law

Probate in the state of Ohio requires that the people managing your estate and inheritance matters are aware how probate is to be conducted in this state, with respect to state probate regulations, deadlines and written documents. Wills are an extra important issue in Ohio, as far as the probate laws are concerned. Wills in Ohio have to be written and executed in a specific way, and must be in strict compliance with Ohio probate statutes. All wills in Ohio except oral wills, must be witnessed, signed and executed in writing (either typed or handwritten or typed).

As far as allowing administration of your probated estate to be managed by a personal representative of your choosing, it is important to remember that administration can't be granted after 20 years has passed, after the passing of the decedent of the estate going through probate. On the other hand, if your estate is filing for probate, and the decedent has not been alive for over 20 years, it is possible to petition the probate court and show "good cause" to enter into probate - and you very well might be given permission by the probate court to grant administration.

Estates going through probate in Ohio need to be cognizant of the strict deadlines for giving the rights to administer the estate to the person functioning as the estate's personal representative. Also, in Ohio it is critical to understand what is involved in generating a "citation for election". If "citations" are not "caused" properly during Ohio probate, the heirs' inheritance, and the probate process in general, may experience delays and tribulations.

There are a myriad of scenarios you may encounter when entering, or attempting to enter into, the probate process. In order for the heirs to access their inheritance as quickly as possible, it's imperative to be in a position to deal with any of these complex scenarios properly, both from a legal standpoints, as well as a time-frame perspective.

Another key element concerning Ohio probate that is worth being familiar with is exactly how probate documents need to be written and presented to the probate court in that state. Obviously, your probate attorney, if you have one (and we believe you should) will be able to insure all of your probate documents, filings, and tasks are prepared and executed correctly - and within the time-frames allowed by Ohio probate law, in other word in compliance with a myriad of strict deadlines during the probate process.

In Ohio, the surviving wife or husband of the decedent can force Ohio state probate court to "make a citation", to perform her or his "right of election", as far as the assets and/or real property of the estate are concerned…. however - it is essential that the surviving spouse pay attention to the revised probate code of Ohio, or they will have serious problems, and their inheritance may be severely delayed.

It would be advisable to have an experienced probate lawyer involved during probate to accomplish all of these tasks quickly and correctly. Hiring a probate lawyer who is familiar with Ohio probate law would be extremely helpful. The probate attorney can be there through the entire probate process to insure the inheritance process is being handled properly. It is not advisable to go through Ohio probate alone, in order to protect your inheritance and the inheritance of the other heirs, should there be other heirs.

Ohio Probate Resources

In the State of Ohio, Probate Division of the Court of Common Pleas maintains jurisdiction over probate cases and takes care of all estate, mental health & juvenile cases. The court usually permits trial by jury.

Inheritance Taxes:

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