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For many Ohio residents, probate is something that should be avoided whenever possible. However, the truth is that probate is simply a process of verifying a will and inventorying assets. It can also be a process during which a representative is appointed to oversee the estate and represent its interests until the estate is settled. Probate may also be the time when heirs are located and assets are distributed according to a will or according to state law.

It is possible for the probate process to last for many months or years. In some cases, there may be a mandatory waiting period of up to 90 days before a case can proceed. Cases may take longer to resolve if an individual contests the will or if there are other legal challenges that a judge must consider.

Attorneys, estate representatives and others may also charge a fee for their services. These fees are generally paid by the estate, and that can result in beneficiaries receiving less than what the deceased person intended them to have. However, the key benefit to probate is that it is a public process that has set rules and procedures. This may allow families to answer unresolved questions about a will and obtain closure at the end of the probate process.

Individuals who want to know more about the probate process may want to talk with an estate administration attorney. An attorney may also answer questions about how to create a trust or how to structure an estate plan to best meet a person’s needs. Legal counsel may be able to help executors and others throughout the process of settling a person’s estate. Having legal counsel may allow the probate process to conclude in a timely and accurate manner.