Not every will has to go through probate in Ohio — but many do. Probate can take extra time and expense, which is why some people try to avoid it. Yet, by ensuring a person’s estate is distributed in the legally correct manner it can avoid future problems, which is one of the main goals of probate. It also makes sure any debts held by the deceased person get paid, thus avoiding problems that can ensue when creditors come calling on the family of the deceased.

Certain assets are exempt from probate. These include property held in a joint name, bank accounts with “payable on death” or “transfer on death” clauses and life insurance transfers with a named beneficiary.

Some estates are exempt from probate altogether, including whenever the total value of the entire estate is worth less than $5,000 and the cost of a funeral and burial for the deceased is $5,000. You can also skip probate when the estate is worth less than $45,000 and the assets are meant to transfer to a surviving spouse. 

Other Ohio estates can go through a more straightforward and faster version of probate, which is an expedited process. It is allowed if the total value of an estate is less than $100,000 and it all goes to the spouse. This process can also be used when an estate is worth less than $35,000, no matter who stands to inherit.

While probate may sound complicated, the help of an experienced Columbus attorney can make it easier to quickly complete the process. If you’re struggling to handle someone’s estate, get experienced legal assistance to make the whole process smoother.