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Vandalia Probate Attorney
As a suburb of Dayton, the city of Vandalia is situated in Montgomery County, Ohio. Vandalia’s population of around 16,000, allows the city to retain all its home-town charm, while still offering many amenities to residents and visitors alike. Seasonal festivals and events include the annual Oktoberfest in the fall, the Air Show & Parade in the summer, and the Star-Spangled Celebration on July 4th. A culinary event, “Taste of Vandalia,” delights foodies and aspiring foodies. One of the largest fairs in the Miami Valley, the Vandalia Fair is hosted by the St. Christopher Catholic Church. To celebrate outdoor beauty, Vandalia has more than 30 top-rated parks and recreation areas, including the Bruce Sucher Recreation Center.
As for most of us across the United States, the beauty and peace of Vandalia are sometimes marred by the loss of a loved one. Naturally, this is a time of grief and pain for you, or for those you leave behind. The emotional aspects of grieving can often be overshadowed by the necessary practicalities. Dealing with final arrangements and the probate estate of the decedent is something few people are equipped to handle. Whether the estate is large or small, there are obligations attached to probating an estate that can feel overwhelming.
A Vandalia probate attorney from Lovett & House can help you get through this difficult time in the very best way possible. Our dedicated legal team will work hard to make the probate process as easy as possible for you or for your loved ones. The legal requirements of probate can be complex and are often hard to understand. Our highly-skilled, compassionate Vandalia probate attorneys will handle probate while you or your loved ones focus on the healing process. The Lovett & House Vandalia probate attorneys have more than 100 positive Google Reviews. Additionally, we offer:
- A free five-minute phone appointment to get an idea of your estate planning goals
- Decades of experience and knowledge regarding Ohio estate issues, including probate
- A Board-Certified Specialist, certified by the Ohio State Bar Association.
When you are dealing with an issue as sensitive as probate, you want a trusted professional who really listens—then works to achieve the very best outcome on your behalf. You will find that and so much more at Lovett & House.
What is Probate?
As a court-supervised legal process, Ohio probate is often required following a death. The purpose of probate is to ensure the decedent’s taxes and debts are paid in full, and that the assets belonging to the decedent are transferred properly. Assets owned by the decedent alone will go through probate, while items owned jointly with a spouse can likely avoid the probate process. Other assets that can avoid probate include:
- Assets that have been placed in a revocable or irrevocable trust
- Any assets held jointly or with the right of survivorship
- Assets like life insurance and retirement accounts that are subject to beneficiary designation.
- Payable-on-death bank accounts
Are There Any Exceptions to Probate in Ohio?
The state of Ohio does offer a less expensive, less time-consuming probate process under certain circumstances. An estate could qualify for this type of probate in either of these situations:
- The value of the estate is $35,000 or less,
- The surviving spouse will inherit all property subject to probate under the decedent’s will or state law, and the value of the estate is less than $100,000, or
- The estate is worth less than $5,000 or funeral and burial expenses were paid by another person up to an amount of $5,000 and now requests reimbursement.
To use Ohio’s small estate probate process, the executor must file a written request with the local probate court asking to use this simplified procedure. If the court agrees, the executor will not be required to follow the more extensive process of “regular” probate. If the value of the estate is $35,000 or less, notice must be given to the surviving spouse and any potential heirs.
It may be necessary to publish notice of the filing of the application in a local newspaper. The court will then order the inheritor to distribute the assets according to the will or, in the event there is no will, according to intestate succession (Ohio Revised Code, Section 2113.03). If you believe you may qualify for the simplified probate process, speak to a knowledgeable Lovett & House Vandalia probate attorney for guidance.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Probate?
Probate can be expensive, lengthy, and a public process, which is why many try to avoid it. The executor must first prove that the will is valid (or the court must appoint an executor if there is no will). The decedent’s assets must then be gathered, inventoried, safeguarded, and, in some cases, appraised. All debts and taxes must be paid, and all remaining property must be distributed as per the will, or as per state law. With all these necessary tasks, a straightforward probate case can take about nine months, with creditors having six months to file a claim against the estate. If the estate owes state or federal estate tax, it can take a year or more for probate to conclude.
On the flip side, the public probate process allows friends and relatives time to bring a lawsuit against those they feel are wrongly claiming the decedent’s property, such as when elder abuse has occurred. Beneficiaries are protected with a bond under the probate process, plus Ohio’s laws of intestacy are designed to mimic what most of us would put into our will if we have planned ahead. The probate process ensures all creditors and taxes are paid, while the length of probate can allow heirs time to adjust to the idea of their inheritance.
How a Lovett & House Vandalia Probate Attorney Can Help
When you choose the Vandalia probate attorneys at Lovett & House, you have ensured you will have an experienced legal professional to help you through the process from beginning to end. The Lovett & House attorneys will take all the details and issues that may be impacted by probate into consideration, taking a highly personalized approach to your situation. We are sensitive to the issues you and your family may be going through following the death of a loved one and have handled hundreds of probate estates. Our goal is to take the frustration out of the probate process by walking you through the process in an easy, step-by-step manner. Contact Lovett & House today.