How To Keep Your House Out Of Probate With A Will

What is the Probate Court’s sole responsibility when it comes to someone who has passed away?  How do you keep a house from going into probate?

The sole responsibility of the Probate Court is to transfer their assets according to a Will or according to the laws of Intestate Succession.  The laws of Intestates Succession apply when there is not a valid Will.


If you pass away and you don't have a Will, then the laws of intestate succession would take over.  Typically, the way it works is assets will go to your spouse.  If your spouse is not alive, then it will go to your children.  If you don't have any children, then it will go to your parents.  If your parents are deceased, then it will go to your siblings. If you don't have any siblings then the court will look to your parents, siblings, and your grandparents.

If there is no Will, a family tree needs to be built to figure out who the next of kin would be, who’s an heir and law, and who should inherit.

When somebody designates or creates a Will, it streamlines the process for the probate core.  If, for example, the Will names a third cousin to receive, then all the assets would go to a third cousin.

How do you use a Will to avoid a house from going through probate court?

The interesting thing about that is you don't do it.  You don't use the Will to prevent a house from going to Probate Court.  The probate court’s job is to transfer the assets according to the Will if there is a Will.

Therefore, if you designate in your Will that you want your home to go to your cousin, then the Probate Court would follow the language of the Will to make sure that the proper beneficiary received it.

Ask Littlejohn Law for help!

At Littlejohn Law, for you to avoid the house from going to probate, my team and I would create a survivorship deed or transfer of death deed.  Both deeds are legal mechanisms that avoid the probate court. In other words, the transfer happens automatically as a matter of law.

Some paperwork needs to be filed but the extent is not the same as if you were going through the full probate process.  A survivorship deed designates somebody as a joint owner of the property and implies that whoever outlives the other person would inherit the property in survivorship.

A transferer on death is very similar, but it indicates that this is my property.  When I pass away, it should go to these specific people.  Again, you don't use a Will to keep a house from going through probate.  You use a survivorship deed or transfer on death deed to help the house avoid going through probate.

Call Littlejohn Law with any questions and concerns at 740-346-2899 and someone from our caring staff will help you.

Littlejohn Law, LLC
The Real Estate and Probate Law Firm
352 Main Street
Wintersville, OH  43953

See videos for more information and references:

“Remember, where there's a Will, there's a way, and where there's no Will, then there's probate”

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