Is it possible to avoid Probate Court in Ohio?
Well the answer is Yes.
Many people pass away and their loved ones never have to open an estate with the Probate Court. It’s because like I always say “a little planning goes a long way.” If you have no plan or just a basic will, then I can guarantee you that your family is headed straight for Probate Court. The Probate Court will use your Will as a guideline in navigating the Probate process to ensure that your loved ones receive whatever they’re legally entitled to under the Will.
If you don’t have a Will, then the Probate Court will step up to transfer your assets to your next of kin. But can this all be avoided…? Again the answer is Yes, but you’ve got to do a little bit of planning.
So, here’s what you need to do…, look at all of your assets and how they are titled. Remember any asset left solely in your name at the time of your death is headed to Probate Court so the first thing that you’ll want to do is make sure your assets are titled jointly or in survivorship. Real Estate can be titled in survivorship to avoid Probate; bank accounts can be joint accounts or POD/TOD, which stands for Payable on death or Transfer on death; vehicles can have survivorship beneficiaries or a TOD designation.
Also, in order to avoid Probate Court make sure your life insurance beneficiaries are up to date. One thing we see commonly is a life insurance policy holder who failed to update the beneficiary designation. And as a result, the Probate ends up in the probate court.