The loss of a loved one affects each person differently. For instance, some may be very emotional while others approach the loss in a more logical sense, and neither is wrong. Sometimes, there are instances in which setting aside emotions when dealing with the passing of a loved one is necessary, and that typically occurs during the probate process.
Probate involves closing the deceased individual’s remaining estate. If emotions get in the way, it is all too easy for the process to get off track and for possible disputes to occur. As a result, it may be wise to ensure that a logical and responsible person is in charge. If your loved one believed that was you, you have an important job ahead.
Depending on the details of your loved one’s estate, probate could take a considerable amount of time and work to complete. Some broad steps generally involved in this process include the following:
- Locating the will and presenting it to the court in order to open the probate process
- Taking an inventory of your loved one’s remaining assets
- Determining the values of those assets
- Handling any remaining tax matters, bills and estate expenses
- Distributing the assets left over to the heirs and beneficiaries
While this may seem straightforward, issues commonly arise that could add complications to the probate process. For instance, if you have a family member who is displeased with the way you handle the estate, that person could attempt to get the court involved further. Additionally, if family members try to pressure you into distributing their inheritances before you address remaining estate expenses, and you give them those assets, you could end up liable for any deficit that may create pertaining to estate expenses.
Do you have to be the executor?
If a loved one asks you to be the executor of his or her estate, you do have the option of declining. It may seem difficult since the person trusts you with such an important responsibility, but settling an estate does take a considerable amount of work. Without the proper knowledge and skills, not everyone is suited to the position. Additionally, some people do not think they will be emotionally ready to handle such a process while dealing with their grief, which is understandable.
In the event that you find yourself unable to perform the necessary duties to close an Ohio estate, you may want to look into your options for help throughout the probate process or for stepping down as executor.