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Representation In Estate Administration Issues

When a loved one dies, his or her estate needs to be collected, managed and distributed. The attorneys at Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc., are experienced estate administration professionals with nearly 25 years of experience of handling all types of estate law cases. With their intense client focus, our attorneys will handle each step of the process from gathering the assets of the estate, to paying the decedent's debts, and distributing the assets that remain in the estate.

Contact the Cleveland estate administration lawyers at Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc., to ensure that ownership of your property is transferred in the most streamlined and cost-effective manner possible.

Understanding The Estate Administration Process

Typically, people leave both probate and non-probate assets, and each requires a different legal process in order to transfer ownership. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can give you peace of mind and help you navigate those differences.

Non-Probate Assets

Certain types of assets may be classified as non-probate and therefore can be transferred by contract. These types of non-probate assets include:

  • Joint and survivorship property
  • Payable on death accounts
  • Transfer on death property
  • Most life insurance and retirement benefits

In most cases, non-probate assets require some type of documentation in order to complete the transfer. Examples of proper documentation can include properly drafted deeds, bank records and beneficiary designation forms for life and retirement accounts.

Probate Assets

The ownership of probate assets, however, must be transferred through proceedings in probate court. The court's role in this process is to make sure that your family or friend's assets are properly identified, maintained and distributed according to the decedent's will and Ohio law.

Ohio law and local court rules govern the basic steps of the estate administration process. In most cases, the following steps occur:

  • Beneficiaries apply to the probate court for the authority to administer the estate and admit the will to probate, if one exists.
  • The probate court appoints a fiduciary.
  • A list of assets is created and appraisals are obtained, if required.
  • The inventory of assets is filed with the court.
  • Creditors are paid.
  • Estate and income tax returns are filed and, if required, tax payment is submitted.
  • Any remaining assets are distributed to beneficiaries.
  • The estate administration process is closed when a final account or a certificate of termination is filed with the court in a timely manner.

While these are the general steps in the administration of an estate, every situation is unique. Advance planning and consultation with an attorney experienced in estate planning can have a dramatic impact on the time, cost and potential tax implications.

The estate planning attorneys of Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc., welcome any questions you have and are ready and willing to help at any stage of the estate planning, probate litigation or estate administration process.

Beachwood Probate Litigation Lawyers Ready To Serve You

Our Cleveland, Ohio, estate administration clients have benefited from our valuable counsel and intense client focus for nearly 25 years. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced probate attorneys. Call 216-245-0504.