Innovative Thinking with a Practical Approach

Attorney Guidance For Avoiding Probate In Ohio

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament are validated (if there is one), their final debts are settled, and the remaining assets are distributed in accordance with the Last Will and Testament. While probate serves an important function, the process can also be very burdensome on your beneficiaries and heirs.

At Cavitch Familo & Durkin Co., L.P.A., our estate planning attorneys have more than 100 years of combined legal experience that they can use to help our clients minimize or eliminate the probate process with your estate.

Why Should You Try To Avoid Probate?

While probate is designed to ensure the orderly transfer of assets to your intended beneficiaries, it is also:

  • Time-consuming: Probate can be a lengthy process that takes several months, or even years, depending upon the complexity of the estate. During that time, the estate’s assets remain inaccessible to loved ones.
  • Costly: Probate typically involves court fees, executor and attorney fees, and administrative and court costs. The costs can pile up quickly and deplete the estate of its value, leaving less for your beneficiaries.
  • Subject to challenges: Probate proceedings can become contentious, especially if you have a disgruntled heir. A challenge can leave the estate tied up for years.
  • Public: Probate proceedings are part of the public record, which means that any privacy concerning your family’s finances is gone.

Which Assets Do Not Go Through Probate?

The only assets that do not go through probate are those that have a joint owner or named beneficiary, or that are titled in the name of a trust.  Examples of such “non-probate” assets include:

  • Assets with a designated beneficiary, such as life insurance or a retirement plan or account
  • Assets that are jointly owned with a right of survivorship
  • Assets titled in a revocable living trust
  • Assets with a “transfer on death” or “payable on death” designation

What Strategies Can You Use To Avoid Probate?

To avoid the drawbacks of probate, our clients often employ estate planning strategies that include the formation of trusts, joint ownership and/or beneficiary designations, gifts during their lifetime, and more.

Take The First Step Today

At Cavitch Familo & Durkin Co., L.P.A., our lawyers can help you preserve your legacy and protect your heirs from unnecessary probate costs. We offer comprehensive estate planning services. Call 216-621-7860 today or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.