We offer our sincere condolences if you have lost a loved one.
Probate can be a confusing and frustrating process during the best of times. Unfortunately, it is often during times of grief and loss that our clients first encounter it.
It is our mission to provide top-notch legal services, acting as a guide through the probate process, with plenty of compassion, kindness and understanding.
The probate court is a specialized court that deals with property and debts of a deceased person (also known as a "decedent").
If your loved one passed away with property in his or her name, you will likely need the assistance of the probate court to transfer that property.
Handling the property and debts of the deceased is referred to as the administration of an estate.
Any property owned by the decedent - in decedent's name only - may be subject to probate. This might include real estate, personal property and financial accounts.
Property with joint owners, or with payable-on-death or transfer-on-death designations, is generally not a probate asset and not subject to administration.
If you are not certain with your loved one had any probate assets, we can assist you in making that determination.
There are generally four steps in an estate administration: (i) opening an estate and submitting a valid Will, if any; (ii) identifying and valuing all probate assets; (iii) paying off any valid debts and claims against the estate; and (iv) distributing any remaining assets in accordance with the terms of the Will, if any, or in accordance with state law.
In most cases, the process with take somewhere from 7 to 13 months; in rare cases, longer. A shorter process does exist for certain small estates. In most cases, the county where your loved one was residing at the time of death will have jurisdiction.
Court costs and legal fees are paid out of the estate, provided there is cash in the estate to cover them. Court costs can range from a few hundred to several hundred dollars. Legal fees are based on the percentage of the value of the probate assets or, in some cases, computed on an hourly rate.
Wagner Law is available to asset in estate administration in the Probate Courts of Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clinton counties.
This is a legal advertisement that has been prepared for informational purposes only. This is not legal advice and use of this website does not create and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information if their matter is time-sensitive. Please call 513-336-7200.