Probate Law FAQ

What is the definition of probate?

Probate is a judicial proceeding of a deceased person's estate.

What issues will I have to face in probate?

Issues in Probate include payment of debits and distribution of assets to beneficiaries or next of kin.

What do I do if there is no will in probate?

If someone dies without a will an administrator is appointed to carry out the distribution of assets to next of kin pursuant to the statutory laws of descent and distribution in Ohio, as well as payment of the deceased person's debits.

What is an Executor? What is a Personal Representative? How are they different?

The deceased person's Last Will and Testament designates an executor who is appointed by the Court to carry out the terms and conditions of the Will. A personal representative may have an interest in the terms of the Will but has no standing to make any decisions regardless of whether or not there is a Will.

How long does a probate last?

Generally, the probating of an estate should not last more than six (6) months and usually less.

Do I need to have a lawyer during the probate process?

In most cases, it is customary to retain a lawyer due to the numerous filings required by the Court and complications which may arise with beneficiaries or next of kin. The Court cannot give legal advice.

Does my estate have to go through the probate?

If the deceased person has debts and assets, a probate process will be required. Assets held jointly with right of survivorship and assets with designated beneficiaries or transfer on death designation will not be entered into probate.

What happens if my siblings disagree about how to handle the estate during probate?

If siblings disagree on how the executor or administrator is handling the estate, they have the right to file an action with the court giving reasons for the disagreement.

What documents do I need to bring when meeting with my attorney about the probate process?

On the initial meeting with the attorney, you should bring deeds to real state, financial statements (including checking and savings accounts), insurance policies, pension information as well as bills and other debits the deceased person may be obligated to pay.

Why should I choose the A. James Tsangeos firm to represent me during the probate process?

Our firm has attorneys who can assist in probating an estate and advise the executor on carrying out the terms of the deceased person's Will efficiently or if there is no Will, advise the administrator on carrying out the payment of debits and distribution of assets pursuant to Ohio's statutory laws on descent and distribution.