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Probate Law FAQ

Probate Law

Q. What if there is no will?
A. An estate in which no will exists is generally administered in the same manner as if a will had been probated. However, the decedent's property is distributed according to Ohio's Law of Descent and Distribution. If beneficiaries are unknown, the filing of a civil action to determine heirship may be required.

Q. What is estate administration?
A. When an individual dies, certain assets transfer automatically by contract (i.e. joint and survivorship property). The remaining assets must be transferred through proceedings in Probate Court. It is the Court's responsibility to insure that those assets are collected, maintained, and fairly distributed among the decedent's heirs, beneficiaries, and/or creditors according to the instructions of the decedent and Ohio laws. This transfer of probate assets is called the administration of a decedent's estate.

Q. When is guardianship necessary?
A. A guardian may be appointed either as a guardian of the person, the estate, or both. A guardian of the person has custody, controls, and protects the person of the ward. A guardian of the estate controls and protects the assets or property of the ward.


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