Probate is an important part of everyone’s life and really should not be avoided, much like many people tend to hear. Probate happens following someone’s death whether or not he or she had a will. If you have a will in place that includes an estate plan, your surviving family members will be able to spend less time and money during the probate process.

Some of the advantages of probate include the following:

– An orderly transfer of your assets to your heirs in an open arena as approved by the court.

— The court protects the heirs and beneficiaries of your will.

— There are no questions of the validity of the title of assets transferred.

— An estate that is in probate is a separate tax entity all of its own.

— Claims made against the estate by creditors can happen for a short, specified period of time.

— Court supervision is used when dealing with questions and disputes regarding the distribution of the estate as it is settled.

Possibly the most important advantage of going to probate is the claims filed by creditors. Creditors will only have a limited amount of time to make these claims and it’s usually for no more than one year. The claim period can also be as short as just four months. Creditors are required to be notified by the executor of the will that it is going through probate and claims filed can be questioned.

A court will almost always rule during probate in favor of any child guardianship provisions named in a will. There are some exceptions to the rule where the court will not rule based on the provisions and this typically occurs when the court finds evidence that the person named as guardian is not fit to be awarded the children.

Do you have questions about the probate process? Contact our firm today to learn more about probate and your rights in Columbus, Ohio.