Probate court is a technical requirement for many estates. When someone dies, the courts will oversee the distribution of their property to others. The courts also help ensure that the estate fulfills all necessary obligations, including paying taxes and resolving debts.
Assets that pass through probate court often remain in legal limbo for months until the courts approve the final distribution of assets to the beneficiaries of the estate. What assets typically require probate oversight after someone’s death?
Most resources are subject to oversight
As a general rule, any assets held solely in one person’s name will become part of their estate when they die. Real property, vehicles, financial accounts and personal possessions, including furniture and clothing, will become part of someone’s estate after their death. Unless someone made arrangements for those assets to transfer at the time of their death or jointly owned them, anything that they possessed could need to pass through the Ohio probate courts before distribution to specific beneficiaries.
The person administering the estate must submit a thorough inventory of all estate resources to the probate courts. That list will include both assets specifically included in estate planning paperwork and other remaining resources not intentionally included in an estate plan. Some of those assets may be subject to liquidation to repay creditors. Those that remain after fulfilling someone’s obligations will eventually transfer to their selected beneficiaries or be subject to liquidation in accordance with someone’s instructions to distribute the proceeds from an estate sale among certain parties.
Understanding what assets will need to pass through probate court can benefit those handling estate administration and those waiting to receive resources after someone dies, as all parties involved will better know what to expect.