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What is a Probate Estate and Why Do I Need a Plan for It?

As estate planners, we use the word “estate” many times a day but it is important to stop for a minute and really think about what it means. After all, it is difficult to plan for something if you don’t know what it actually is. 

Simply put, your estate is the sum total of all the assets you possess when you die. This is everything from real estate, vehicles, bank accounts and investments to baseball cards and wedding rings. However, it is important to understand that in actuality your estate may be made up of many different types of estates. 

For example you can have a probate estate, a non-probate estate, a trust estate, a taxable estate, and a non-taxable estate.

So that brings us to your Probate Estate.

In Ohio, a Probate Estate is comprised of all assets that are titled in the decedent’s name alone and that the heirs cannot get access to without Probate paperwork. The probate administration process is designed to provide proof to the probate court that the individual’s Will is genuine.

Types of assets found in a probate estate:

    • All assets that are owned in the individual’s name alone
    • All assets that are owned by the individual as a “tenant in common”
    • All assets that are payable to the estate of the owner
    • All assets owed to the individual before death but are still unpaid after the date of death
    • Other personal property items such as household goods, jewelry, etc.

Not all Estates require probate. You can avoid probate by planning in advance. We believe that you should make it easier for those you leave behind. Don’t leave your family with a costly and time-consuming delays of probate when you’re gone.

Find out more about Probate Estates by attending an educational seminar or webinar. See the schedule here or call 1-800-798-5297 to set up a complementary consultation.