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Experienced Sidney, Ohio Probate Lawyers
Sidney, Ohio is the county seat of Shelby County, Ohio, currently with approximately 21,000 residents. The town was first established in 1819, named after a resident of Great Britain, Sir Philip Sidney. With a population of only 713 people by 1840, Sidney soon began growing rapidly, largely as a result of a canal that connected Sidney with the Miami and Erie canal. This allowed local residents access to markets across the U.S. Sidney in the mid-1800s, was a town largely consisting of mills: three flour mills, four sawmills, one fulling mill, and two carding mills.
Today, Sidney has a drive-in movie theater, while entertaining locals and visitors alike with a large corn maze on the south side of town at Vandermark’s Farm. The Gateway Arts Council provides not only Sidney, but those in surrounding counties, with cultural enrichment, quality arts, and entertainment for all age levels and all interests. Sidney Alive, a downtown revitalization group, provides a farmers’ market, as well as community events such as the Winter Wonderland Parade, horse and carriage rides, the Chocolate Walk, and mystery dinners.
Tawawa Park is a beautiful area in Sidney consisting of 220 wooded acres, with two lakes. The park offers areas to play ball, fishing, play areas, basketball courts, sand volleyball, softball diamonds, open green spaces, and walkways and bikeways. Wildlife is protected at Tawawa Park, and the William Ross Covered Bridge is a picturesque landmark that resembles the covered bridges constructed between 1823 and 1900 by Rueben L. Partridge.
Serving the Probate Needs of Sidney, Ohio Residents
The probate attorneys of Lovett & House are committed to helping residents of Sidney, Ohio prepare for probate or deal with probate in the easiest way possible. If you have lost a loved one, we understand you need time to grieve without having to deal with the often-confusing complexities of a Sidney, Ohio probate process. Let the highly experienced probate attorneys at Lovett & House handle the legal requirements of settling the affairs of your loved one or help you plan for the future yourself.
What Does Sidney, Ohio Probate Entail?
Probate in the state of Ohio is the legal process that occurs when a person died, whether that person died with a will or without a will. If the person dies with a will, then his or her property will be distributed according to the instructions set forth in the will. If a person dies intestate—without a will—Ohio probate laws will dictate how the decedent’s assets will be distributed. In some cases, a full Ohio probate procedure may not be required if the estate has a value of $40,000 or less. Your Sidney, Ohio probate attorney from Lovett & House can help you determine the correct value of assets for the purpose of probate, as well as for estate tax purposes.
Some individuals may have an asset that passes outside of the probate process, including life insurance, annuities, retirement accounts, and some other assets as well. Other times, how an asset is titled will determine whether it is required to go through probate. As you can see, the laws regarding Ohio probate can be complex, and most people can benefit from speaking to an experienced Ohio probate attorney. When a decedent has named a personal representative in his or her will, that person will be responsible for handling the probate process. If there is no will, or no personal representative is named, the court will appoint someone to handle the probate.
What are the Implications and Effects of Probate?
Although probate can be a cumbersome, complicated legal procedure, in most cases, it will be necessary after the death of a loved one. The personal representative or executor for the decedent (whether named or appointed by the court) must follow certain Ohio probate procedures, including the following:
- Determine the heirs named in the will via reviewing the document
- Determine whether there are other heirs under Ohio intestate laws that should be notified of the probate
- Provide notice of probate to the next of kin
- Conduct an inventory of the decedent’s property
- Prepare inventory forms as required by the court
- Make an accounting of all final expenses, then pay those expenses
- Review any creditor claims, determine if the claims are valid, and, if so, pay those claims
- Respond appropriately to any will challenges or challenges regarding the distributions
- Respond to any litigation filed by creditors
- Distribute all assets of the decedent in accordance with the will or intestate laws of Ohio
- File final income tax returns for the decedent
- File estate tax returns or 1041 returns, if required
- Prepare a final accounting to file with the probate court
Ohio Probate Frequently Asked Questions
Following are two of the most often asked questions, relating to Ohio probate:
- I am the child of a recently deceased parent. We never discussed an estate plan so how do I know whether there is a will or not? First, you will likely want to go through your parent’s belongings to determine whether he or she could have a will. If you do not find a will, you might consider calling some local attorneys your parent might have used. If you are still unable to locate a will, you may contact the court to see if one is deposited there. Oftentimes, there is no will, and one must file paperwork to be designated as the administrator of the estate.
- My dad died over a year ago, and my mother just recently died. Apparently, neither of them left a will. My brother (my only sibling) moved into the house and is driving the vehicles, acting as though they are his. What should I do? You should contact an experienced Ohio probate attorney immediately. You will need to notify the court, asking to have yourself named as the administrator of the estate as soon as possible. If you fail to take immediate action, you may find that items from the estate have “disappeared,” and the longer your brother lives in the home and drives the car, the more damage he could do.
Helpful Information to Have Prior to Meeting with a Sidney, Ohio Probate Attorney
When you are facing probate following the death of a loved one, you will make an appointment with your Sidney, Ohio probate attorney. If possible, bringing the following items for your first meeting results in a more productive discussion:
- The will of the deceased, if one exists
- House deeds and car titles, if they exist
- Mortgage information
- Bills, bank statements, and tax returns
- Any information related to life insurance or retirement accounts
- Any other documents you think might be pertinent to the probate
However, do not delay the start of the process. Delay can result in the loss of the ability to pursue claims on behalf of the decedent. Even if you do not have many of these items, the most important thing is to see the attorney and get started. Your attorney can help you obtain many of these items.
How a Sidney, Ohio Probate Attorney from Lovett & House Can Help
When you love a loved one, you deserve the time to grieve, without immediately having to deal with probate issues. The attorneys at Lovett & House will ensure the emotional aspects of the death are not overshadowed by the practical tasks of dealing with probate and other estate issues. We understand the probate process can be exhausting and overwhelming, which is why we are dedicated to making the process as stress-free as possible. Let the compassionate, skilled lawyers at Lovett & House handle the legal requirements of settling your Sidney, Ohio probate. Contact Lovett & House today at 937-667-8805 and make your initial consultation.