Ohio estate administration is different from other states, and it can be a complex and time-consuming process. If you have lost a loved one who lived in Montgomery County, you may wonder what steps you need to take to settle their estate and honor their wishes. In this post, we will explain the probate process basics in Montgomery County.
Probate, the legal process
Probate is the legal process that oversees the settling of an estate. This involves proving the validity of a will and distributing the deceased’s assets according to their wishes. Probate also involves paying any debts, taxes and expenses that the estate owes. Probate is supervised by the Montgomery County Probate Court, which has jurisdiction over all estates of people who died in Montgomery County or owned property here.
The probate process can vary depending on whether the deceased person had a will or not, and whether their estate is considered small or large. A small estate is one that has a total value of $35,000 or less or $100,000 or less, if the surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary. A large estate is one that exceeds these thresholds.
If there is a will
If the deceased person had a will, the probate process starts with filing the original will and a death certificate with the court. The court will then appoint an executor, who is usually named in the will, to administer the estate.
The executor has the duty to gather and inventory the assets of the estate, notify and pay creditors, file any tax returns and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
If there is not a will
If the deceased person did not have a will, they are considered to have died intestate. Their estate is distributed according to the Ohio laws of intestacy. The court appoints an administrator, who is usually a close relative of the deceased person, to perform the same duties as an executor.
The administrator distributes the assets of the estate to the heirs according to a fixed legal order, starting with the surviving spouse and children.
The probate process in Dayton can take anywhere from six months to two years or more, depending on the size and complexity of the estate, the number and nature of creditors and beneficiaries and any disputes or challenges that may arise. The probate process can also incur various fees and costs, such as court fees, attorney fees, appraisal fees, accounting fees and bond fees.
Dealing with probate can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. Nonetheless, the legal requirements and procedures must be followed as an executor or administrator and ensure that your loved one’s wishes are fulfilled.