Experienced and Competent Probate Administration Attorneys in Cleveland

Helping families and business owners in Ohio secure their futures

Probate is the court process of distributing an estate after a person’s death. If there is a valid will in place, distribution generally follows the instructions of the testator. If no will exists, the courts will distribute according to the Ohio laws of succession. An experienced probate administration attorney understands the required steps of the probate process.

At Gertsburg Licata, our team walks clients through the probate process step by step. We offer competent, practical estate administration services to individuals and business owners.

The probate administration process in Ohio

Ohio’s probate administration process is detailed and complex. Any failure to properly comply with the statutory process can significantly delay the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. The general order of probate administration in Ohio is as follows:

  • The will is filed with the probate court in the county of the decedent’s residence, along with a petition for probate.
  • The court appoints an executor of the will or personal representative when there is no will.
  • The executor or representative must file a detailed accounting of the estate’s assets.
  • Creditors are allowed six months to file claims with the estate.
  • The executor pays all debts and creditors out of the estate’s assets.
  • A petition to close probate is filed with the court.
  • If the court grants the order, the remaining assets are distributed to beneficiaries according to the will or through intestate succession.

This is a very simplified explanation. Will contests can lead to hearings and costly delays. For an inexperienced administrator, the process can prove extremely challenging and stressful, especially if the administrator is also mourning the loss of a loved one. Having handled numerous matters within the Ohio probate courts, the seasoned wills and trusts lawyers of Gertsburg Licata are experienced and skilled in probate administration. We have the resources and experience to represent you in litigation or arbitration proceedings if it becomes necessary.

Ohio descent and distribution

When an individual dies without a will, the court distributes assets based on the Ohio statute of descent and distribution. This law provides the order of succession for distributions from the estate. It favors the closest heirs and works its way down the line of succession. For example:

  • When there is a surviving spouse and no children, the spouse receives the entire estate.
  • If there is a surviving spouse and a child born from the decedent and the surviving spouse, the spouse still receives the entire estate.
  • If the child was not born of the surviving spouse, the spouse receives the first $20,000 of the estate in addition to half of the remaining balance. The other half of the remaining balance is distributed to the decedent’s child.
  • For decedents with no surviving spouse or child, the estate is distributed to surviving parents or siblings.

A skilled Cleveland probate administration attorney understands the complexities of descent and distribution. Our practical, honest counsel will ensure that you understand the probate process, and will keep you informed throughout, until it is complete.

Providing trustworthy probate administration services in Cleveland, call us today to help you with your probate administration needs!

The attorneys of Gertsburg Licata offer comprehensive probate administration assistance and services. We diligently work to provide our wills and estate clients with dependable representation. Our team proudly provides estate planning and probate services to the residents of Cleveland, Ohio. Call our office today at 216-573-6000 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.