Susan Howard & Associates, Attorneys at Law

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The Law Offices of Susan Howard & Associates can help in processing your loved one's Estate through Probate.

Probate is a legal process to distribute a deceased person's estate.  It includes:

bulletApplying for Letters Probate to prove in court that the deceased's will is valid (usually a routine matter)
bulletIdentifying and drawing up an inventory of the deceased's property
bulletHaving the property appraised
bulletPaying debts and taxes, and
bulletDistributing the remaining property as the will directs.

Probate normally involves paperwork and court appearances by lawyers. The lawyers and court fees are paid from the estate property (which would otherwise go to the people who inherit the deceased person's property).  Probate fees are calculated on assets, regardless of liabilities, so an estate with assets of one million dollars and liabilities of $200,000 would pay probate fees on the entire million.  In addition, if these same assets are transferred to your spouse, probate fees would be due again the second time around when the assets were transferred through your spouse's will.  There may be increased fees if a lawyer is retained to cross-examine the asset list or if the executor charges a percentage of the assets to do the work.

After your death, the executor you named in your will (or, if you die without a will, the person appointed by the probate court) files papers in the local probate court to prove the validity of your will and presents the court with lists of your property, your debts, and who is to inherit what is left and relatives and creditors are officially notified of your death.

Your executor must find, secure and manage your assets during the probate process, which commonly takes about a year. Depending on the contents of your will, and on the amount of your debts, the executor may have to decide whether or not to sell your real estate, securities or other property to satisfy cash bequests or to pay outstanding debts.

Susan Howard & Associates can assist in the legal aspects of the Probate process during this typically difficult time.

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The Law Offices of Susan E. Howard and Associates, 622 Eckel Rd., Perrysburg Ohio 43551.
(p) 419-872-2600, (f) 419-872-2612.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation

Last modified: 11/07/06