People draft wills in Ohio so they can direct who will receive their property when they pass away. Without a will, the deceased’s property will be passed to various family members in accordance with Ohio’s law of intestate succession. This could lead to results that are very disappointing to loved ones. That is why having a will is so important.
While having a will allows people to give their property to the proper people, in order to distribute the property the estate must go through the probate process. This is a court process that oversees the personal representative to ensure the property is distributed properly. The process is typically started by the personal representative named in the will. The personal representative is also responsible for administering the estate.
Responsibilities of personal representatives
Most personal representatives do not know exactly what they need to do to administer the estate. There are a number of aspects of the process that they will be responsible for which include, but are not limited to:
- Overseeing the decedent’s property during the probate process
- Collecting debts, income and assets owed to the estate
- Determining and paying creditors that the decedent owed
- Determining the names and ages of the heirs and beneficiaries named in the will
- Planning for and preparing tax returns
- Distributing the assets of the estate to the appropriate beneficiaries
- Filing all of the appropriate paperwork with the court and following all instructions from the court
When people in Ohio are named as personal representatives they are usually loved ones of the deceased who were named many years before they actually needed to perform their duties as personal representative. The probate process can be complicated, and the personal representative has many responsibilities as they go through it. Experienced attorneys understand the responsibilities of personal representatives in the probate process and may be able to guide them through it.