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Probate Attorney

Mona J FineProbate is a legal term referring to the courtís process of administration of a deceased personís assets (estate) in the local court system. Basically, when a person passes on, any of their possessions: real estate, money, investment accounts, insurance, stocks, vehicles, household goods, etc., which do not have a named beneficiary tied to the account, needs to be administered by the probate court in the county in which the deceased lived at the time of passing.


There are two types of estates: testate, in which the deceased left a will; and intestate, in which no will has been located and the assets will pass according to Ohio law. We will discuss the process involved when there is a will.


The probate court will require the executor (the person named in the will to handle the estate), to file the original will along with a form requesting the will be probated. Accompanying this form will be additional forms. There will be a form (1.0) listing the names and address of any surviving spouse, the next of kin and anyone named in the will to inherit. The court will require any person named on the 1.0 to receive a copy of the will and acknowledge that they are aware the will has been filed with the court. The court will also require the executor to file a form requesting that he/she be appointed to represent the estate and also a form accepting the duties as required by law.


The court will then give the executor four months to gather a list of all assets and then file an Inventory for just those assets that have no named beneficiary and thus pass under the terms of the will. The executor is required to have all real estate appraised and assets such as motor vehicles must be valued.


Ohio law requires that the estate be closed six months after it has been opened. If it is necessary to keep the estate open longer, a form has to be filed requesting an extension. The executor must file a Fiduciaryís Account and Receipts and Disbursements form listing all of the assets as shown on the Inventory and any income, refunds, etc. received during the process and also a list of how all of the assets were disbursed. This includes a list of all bills paid and all disbursements to the heirs named in the will. Once the court approves the Account, the estate is closed.


If you have had a family member pass away, while a resident of Licking or Knox Counties, the Law Offices of Mona J. Fine can guide you through the court process in the most sympathetic, professional and efficient manner.


There are advantages and disadvantages to have a personís assets pass under a will. If you are interested in finding out what your estate planning options are, please contact the Law Offices of Mona J. Fine. Mona, and her staff, are experienced in all components of the probate process. With over 25 years of legal experience, she can assist you with the planning process.

505 Mt. Vernon Rd. Suite 200
Newark, Ohio 43055

(740) 366-1525
© Law Offices of Mona J. Fine. All Rights Reserved.
(Formerly the Law Offices of David L. Hite)