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Probate obligations must be met before asset distribution

| Sep 13, 2019 | Probate And Estate Administration |

Though many people may want to receive a portion of a deceased loved one’s estate soon after the person’s passing, there are many hoops to jump through first. Often, Ohio residents will leave behind a will that details their final wishes, and their estates will need to go through the probate process. As a result, heirs and beneficiaries may have to wait a considerable amount of time before receiving any assets.

Numerous steps are involved with settling an estate, and the outcomes of those steps could affect property distribution to heirs and beneficiaries later. First, the executor of the estate needs to inventory the remaining assets and obtain the value of those assets. If the value of the estate overall reaches or exceeds a certain amount, it is possible that estate taxes could apply.

In addition to estate taxes, the executor also needs to handle any final bills of the estate and file final tax returns. Because all of these actions are paid for with estate funds, it is important that they are taken care of before distribution to heirs and beneficiaries takes place. The executor needs to ensure that there are enough estate funds to cover the remaining expenses or to at least pay the creditors with the highest priorities. Once these obligations have been handled, the distribution of the remaining assets can take place.

While these steps may seem straightforward, they can take a considerable amount of time to complete. Some property value may not be obvious, and as a result, appraisals may be needed. In addition, other issues with the estate could arise that delay the probate process. If heirs or beneficiaries to Ohio estates have questions about receiving their inheritances, they may want to speak with local attorneys.