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How do executors open the probate process?

executors probate process

When someone is the executor of an Ohio estate, the individual has a duty to close all remaining matters associated with that estate. Before any steps can be taken toward doing that, however, he or she must first open the probate process with the court. This step is necessary to ensure that the executor has the legal authority to handle the affairs of the decedent. 

Beginning the process takes several steps, including filing the death certificate and the decedent’s will with the probate court. The court will then review the will to determine whether it meets the legal requirements for a valid will under state laws. It may also be necessary for witnesses to testify that the will is authentic and what the decedent intended. Once the will is validated, the court will then appoint or approve the executor, who will then have legal authority to complete probate. 

After the court’s initial involvement, the executor will then need to handle the following steps: 

  • Alerting the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate that probate has opened 
  • Having property and assets appraised to get a current value 
  • Paying necessary debts from the estate funds 
  • Filing and paying taxes on behalf of the estate 
  • Distributing remaining assets to the beneficiaries  
  • Filing the final accounting of the estate matters with the court and officially closing the estate 

Of course, the executor may also need to address other matters not listed here, such as if a dispute with a beneficiary arises or other similar matter. As a result, it is important that potential executors feel ready to handle all concerns associated with the probate process. Fortunately, they do not have to handle the process alone as individuals could enlist the help of experienced Ohio attorneys.