Hottenroth, Garverick, Tilson & Garverick, Co., L.P.A.
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Is probate bad?

My personal feeling is that the opposite is pretty much accurate in most situations! Probate is often very good. The probate courts in Ohio have varied jurisdiction, and that includes matters involving adoptions, guardianships, decedents' estates, filing of wills, etc. But there seems to be a lot of hub-bub these days about people wanting to "avoid probate." Generally, if a spouse dies leaving another spouse to whom she or he wants everything to go at death, there are a number of ways that transfers often can be accomplished without property going "through" probate. This may involve using "transfer on death" devices, setting up accounts with "payable on death" beneficiaries, etc.
But, especially in situations where things are unclear, where there is not a surviving spouse or where there is neither a surviving spouse nor surviving children, having property go "through" probate can be a great benefit. When property goes through probate, it needs to be valued and inventoried, it needs to be passed according to a will or statutory provisions, and the process is overseen by a court. This overseeing role is of great benefit in helping to normalize transfers, and render them legally appropriate. In other words, having the benefit of a probate court can be a wonderful thing from the standpoint of ensuring that things are more appropriately and more fairly handled. Is it always necessary in every case? Clearly it is not always necessary in every case, but in situations where people have questions about the best way to proceed, it is appropriate to bring them up with their attorneys. Planning for death may not be a fun thing, but it is an appropriate thing for people to do. It is wise to seek the services of your lawyer on such matters, often frequently, to continue to fine-tune your plans, and hopefully to avoid problems for your heirs when you are gone.

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Hottenroth, Garverick, Tilson & Garverick, Co., L.P.A.
126 S. Market St.
Galion, OH 44833

Phone: 419-468-5044
Fax: 419-468-1308
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