Probate can be a very helpful process for many estates. It allows an executor and family to ensure they follow the law when handling the estate property. However, if someone dies who owns very little, is probate necessary? You may wonder about this if you have had a recent death in your family.
The Ohio Bar Association explains that not every estate will need to go through probate and the associated administrative process. There are a couple of aspects of an estate that can allow it to bypass the process.
The value of the estate
When an estate has a low value, the court will often minimize probate. If an estate has a value of $100,000 or less and all the assets will go to a spouse, then it does not have to go through probate at all.
The estate contains certain assets
There are some assets that do not require probate because they automatically transfer ownership after a person dies. If the estate contains property that you jointly own with the deceased person, trusts, payable upon death accounts or accounts with a beneficiary, then none of these require probate.
The importance of probate
While many people think it is best to avoid probate, the process serves an important purpose. It helps to make sure that everything is fair and just under the law with the distribution of assets. It offers some protection to heirs that the executor will properly manage the estate. Furthermore, it allows for the payment of the debts of the estate so that heirs do not have to worry about them.