Limited Clients. Proven Results.

University Heights Probate Law Firm Stiefvater Law, limits the clients it represents at any given time in order to provide efficient and cost effective service to clients throughout the probate process. Probate is the legal process through which a decedent’s estate is administered when a person dies.

Probate in its simplest form is a legal process that results in the transfer of assets from the decedent to a living person or persons. Probate can be expensive – in both time and money. Many people chose to avoid probate by establishing an estate plan while they are still alive. A proper estate plan can save the heirs and estate time and money and ensure that the decedent’s assets are distributed according to their wishes.

Under the law, assets are either deemed probate assets or non-probate assets. Probate assets must go through the legal process of probate in order for ownership to transfer. Assets that are considered non-probate assets do not need to go through probate to change hands. University Heights Probate Lawyer Robert Stiefvater will sit down with you and go through each asset to determine whether or not it is a probate or non-probate asset.

Probate assets, among other items, consists of individual assets, tenant in common assets, Assets with predeceased beneficiaries or no beneficiary named, and assets left out of a trust. Most non-probate assets are those with named beneficiaries.

Assets with predeceased beneficiaries or no beneficiary named are assets where a beneficiary was named but died before the owner and no alternate beneficiary is named. This also occurs when the decedent failed to name a beneficiary to assets such as life insurance, retirement accounts, annuities, and 401(k) accounts.

Non-probate assets include assets with named beneficiaries, including payable on death or transfer on death, joint accounts, certain forms of real estate ownership, and items left properly titled to a trust.

Call University Heights Probate Attorney Robert Stiefvater for a free consultation and to discuss your specific probate needs.

When someone dies without a will, the estate is considered intestate. In this situation, the laws of the State of Ohio direct who gets what from the decedent. The law generally directs the division of the assets among the surviving spouse, children, and lineal descendants. Step-children come after all other blood relations. If no one is there then the property goes to the State of Ohio.

The law provides for many simple and not so simple situations. What follows are some example provisions from the Ohio Revised Code:

2105.051 Advancements - time of valuation.

When a person dies, property that the person gave during the person's lifetime to an heir shall be treated as an advancement against the heir's share of the estate only if declared in a contemporaneous writing by the decedent or acknowledged in writing by the heir to be an advancement. For this purpose, property advanced is valued as of the time the heir came into possession or enjoyment of the property, or as of the time of death of the decedent, whichever occurs first. If the heir does not survive the decedent, the property shall not be taken into account in computing the intestate share to be received by the heir's issue, unless the declaration or acknowledgment provides otherwise.

Probate Attorney Robert Stiefvater understands the emotional weight of losing a loved one. He will handle the legal probate process so you can focus on the healing process.

Call the University Heights Probate Attorneys at Stiefvater Law to find out if we are currently taking on new clients. We are the Probate Attorneys in University Heights, Ohio, 44118.

Cities in Cuyahoga County: Westlake, Valley View, Walton Hills, Warrensville Heights, Woodmere

Zip Codes in University Heights, Ohio: 44118, 44121