There is no denying that probate is a stressful process for survivors and estate executors. Unfortunately, it is typically necessary, especially in estates that lack wealth preservation components like trusts and payable-on-death accounts.
Probate can be complex and time-consuming, even with well-established estate plan components in place. Therefore, you want to be sure your executors and heirs encounter no issues that could disrupt or extend the probate process.
Each Ohio probate case is unique, but we have identified a few issues that commonly prolong these procedures. The good news is that they are all preventable.
Perhaps the person you chose as your estate executor cannot or will not serve. They may be ill or live too far away, for example. Naming an alternate executor can resolve this issue before it impacts probate. Always speak with your executor candidates (primary and alternate) in advance to ensure they are able and willing to serve.
Your close relatives can inadvertently interfere with probate if they disagree about the contents of your estate planning documents. For example, ambiguous language in a will could lead to inheritance misunderstandings. Provide clear instructions in your estate documents, and consider adding personal letters to explain your decisions to your family.
If your family and executors cannot locate your will, it will trigger an immediate probate problem. The existence of multiple wills could also cause delays, as the court may need extra time to sort things out. Keep your estate planning documents up-to-date, and destroy old wills as soon as you replace them.
The Ohio probate process requires strict compliance with a host of legal regulations. Learning more about these laws may ensure probate flows as smoothly as possible for your heirs and executors.