Columbus Probate Attorney

When you are coping with the loss of a loved one, added burdens handling the estate can be hard to bear.  At Wolfe Legal Services we are here for you if you need a Columbus probate attorney serving all Central Ohio.

What Is Probate and Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Probate is the court-supervised process of handling a deceased person’s assets and final affairs, among other things.  A probate attorney handles the filing of the last testament or will of a deceased individual. In addition, a probate lawyer can help with asset protection and help fill out all necessary paperwork.

Additionally a Probate attorney can help you with:

  • Guardianships
  • Name Changes
  • Determining what is a probate asset vs non-probate asset (read more)
  • Adoptions

Why You Should Have a Columbus Probate Attorney

Ohio doesn’t require you to use a lawyer to probate an estate.  However, probate rules and laws are complicated.  In addition a fiduciary can be personally liable if something goes wrong.   Hiring an attorney can help you make sure no deadlines are missed and you receive the maximum inheritance.

Avoiding Probate

Probate can be an expensive and time consuming process.   The key to avoiding probate is careful estate planning, powers of attorney, trusts, and asset management.  Good probate attorneys and estate planning attorneys avoid probate by using various techniques to transfer the ownership of assets directly to beneficiaries upon a person’s death.

Creating a Trust

One way to avoid probate is create a trust.  A trust is a legal entity that owns the assets.  If you establish a living trust, you can name yourself the initial trustee. This allows you to control your assets and add/remove assets at will.  When you pass away, the trust distributes assets based on your wishes without going through probate court.

Avoiding probate without a trust

Many times people don’t want to establish a trust.  There are other ways to avoid probate, such as by designating beneficiaries directly, and establishing your wishes for care in writing.  Your Columbus  probate attorney can help you use one of these methods.

Joint Ownership with Rights of Survivorship

If you own property jointly with someone and this ownership includes the “right of survivorship,” then probate isn’t necessary.  When you die the property will transfer to the other owner by affidavit.

Transfer on Death Assets

If you have assets such as property, securities, or vehicles you can register these assets to transfer on death.   hen you register an asset this way, you name the future beneficiary of the asset.

Payable on Death Assets

Life insurance is a payable on death asset. However it is not the only one.  In Ohio you can add payable on death designation to your bank accounts.  This means that the money in your bank account will be yours while you are alive.  However, if you die your beneficiary can claim the money directly from your bank, and avoid probate.

Columbus Probate Attorney

George Wolfe has 24 years of experience as a respected Columbus probate attorney. He has guided many people through the estate administration process and collected millions of dollars for clients.  At Wolfe Legal Services we understand that you want Probate done in a timely manner. Contact us for a free consultation

Attorneys:  George M. Wolfe

Probate Assets vs Non-Probate Assets

People often think of a Will as the all-encompassing document that says what happens to their stuff immediately after they die. However, this is not true. Some of your assets go directly to their intended beneficiaries as soon as you die. The rest o… Read More

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