Limited Clients. Proven Results.

Westlake 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 is a legal process that occurs when a person dies with probate assets. The probate process can be slow and expensive. Estate planning is often done to avoid probate. Benefits to avoiding probate include saving the heirs and the estate time and money, simplifying the overall process after a loved one’s death, and can ensure that the decedent’s assets and wishes are carried out after death.

An individual’s assets are considered either probate assets or non-probate assets. Probate assets are those items that must go through the probate process to transfer ownership. Likewise, non-probate assets do not need to go through the probate process to transfer ownership. Probate Lawyer Robert Stiefvater will sit down with you and advise which assets are probate assets and which assets are non-probate assets.

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.

Individual assets are assets titled in the decedent’s sole name without co-owners or beneficiary designation. Individual assets often include real estate, bank accounts, investment accounts, stocks, bonds, vehicles, boats, and business interests. Individual assets can also include personal property such as artwork, collectibles, and memorabilia.

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 our Westlake Probate Law Firm and get a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your probate situation.

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.

When a loved one dies the entire situation can easily feel overwhelming. Our Westlake Probate Attorneys will take the time to answer your questions and keep you informed throughout the probate process. We will handle the legal process so you can focus on the healing process.

Call the Westlake Probate Lawyers at Stiefvater Law to find out if we are currently taking on new clients. We are the Probate Attorneys in Westlake, Ohio, 44145.

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

Zip Codes in Westlake, Ohio: 44145