Many come to us here at The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt Inc. after having lost a loved one terrified that the decedent’s estate may now have to go through probate. This is no doubt due to the many horror stories told by people in Columbus about how probate proceedings can take so long that they drain all of the assets out of an estate through fees. You might have heard such tales, and thus share the same concerns. Yet it is important to remember that the purpose of the probate process is not to take away all of the assets your loved one spent his or her life working for. Rather, it is just to ensure that they are distributed correctly. 

This leads to the all important question of whether or not the estate that you are party to needs to be probated at all. Estate cases that involve few assets and do not present complexities do not necessarily need to be supervised by the court. Thus, the law allows for such cases to skip the probate process entirely. If the value of the estate you are party to is less than $45,000, and you (as the surviving spouse) are set to inherit all of it, or if the value of the estate is less than either $5,000 or the cost of decedent’s funeral expenses, you can petition the court for a summary release from administration. 

Expedited probate proceedings are also a possibility through a release from administration ruling. According to Ohio’s Probate Code, to qualify your loved one’s estate must be less than $35,000, or $100,000 and you (as the surviving spouse) are set to inherit all of it. 

You can discover more information about Ohio’s probate guidelines by continuing to explore our site.