Dayton Probate & Estate Matters

Sorting out our financial and legal matters before death is vital to our family’s security in the future. However, many Dayton residents put off this responsibility until it is too late – leaving their families with lots of questions and legal headaches. If you have not yet established your probate and estate matters, Elk & Elk can help.

Our attorneys have the experience necessary to assist you with sorting out your estate and probate matters. We know how to navigate these processes carefully and comprehensively to protect your family.

Why Choose Elk & Elk?

  • Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience in multiple legal areas, including estate and probate law.
  • We operate multiple office locations throughout Ohio for maximum convenience.
  • Our attorneys value client communication and will remain open and honest about any updates you may need.

What Is Probate?

The state of Ohio defines probate as the legal process that occurs after you pass away. If you die with a valid will, you can define how you want your property distributed in the event of your death. If you do not have a will, the state of Ohio will make this decision for you. You do not want your family’s future to be at the mercy of the state, so it is best to establish your probate prior to your death, ideally as soon as possible.

How Does Probate Work in Ohio?

After you die, the state of Ohio will undergo a very specific process to complete probate. The court will appoint someone to handle your estate administration, known as the personal representative, if you do not have a will. If you do have a will, you will name the personal representative and the court will honor your wishes.

The probate process usually involves the following steps.

  • The personal representative and the court will prove that your will is valid.
  • The court will identify all of your property and assets, which may include any pieces of real estate, finances in your bank account, and any other assets in your own name.
  • The courts will have all of your property appraised by a trusted expert.
  • The courts will pay any outstanding debts and taxes you may still owe.
  • Finally, the courts will distribute your property according to the instructions in your will or according to the instructions of the state.

Assets solely in your name are the assets that go through the probate process. However, certain assets will skip the probate process entirely, such as property in a revocable trust, life insurance policies and retirement accounts with a named beneficiary, real estate with joint ownership, and bank accounts with transfer on death or payable on death clauses.

How Will the Courts Divide Your Assets If You Do Not Have a Will?

Estate planning prior to your death is very important because it allows you to have control over who receives your property when you are not there to dictate the decision. The court divisions can become very complicated, as they look at who your living relatives are and the relation of these descendants to your spouse, if you are married.

For example, your spouse may not receive as much if you have children from a previous marriage, multiple children, or other descendants. Having a will can help reduce your family’s financial stress, instead of leaving the fate of your assets up to the courts. To ensure your family’s comfort after your passing, discuss your probate matters with an attorney prior to any unexpected circumstances.

Contact Us Today For Legal Guidance

If you still need to establish your estate and probate matters in Dayton, Ohio, do not wait until it is too late – choose Elk & Elk to help you. Our attorneys can guide you through the will-making process so your family remains protected in the event of unexpected circumstances. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our probate and estate lawyers.