When a person dies, the named Executor (if a will exists) or any interested party (if no will exists) starts the probate process to determine what will happen to the assets and debts in an estate. To that end, let’s explore relevant statistics to unpack useful lessons for those who are thinking about establishing their Ohio estate plans.
Usually, probate divisions exist in the court of common pleas in combination with another division. However, there are fifteen counties in Ohio that have separately administrated divisions. This includes Montgomery, Greene and Hamilton counties.
The probate filing fee typically costs $350.00. This is in addition to attorney’s fees, appraisal fees, and executor fees. In Ohio, the average attorney fee alone is about 5 percent of the probate estate’s value. However, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb. It’s estimated that Americans pay up to $2 billion a year for probate; more than half of that amount is paid in attorney fees.
According to the Ohio Supreme Court, the number of probate cases is on the decline. In 2014, over 84,500 new probate cases were filed. This number is 5 percent fewer than those filed in 2013 and 10 percent fewer than those filed in 2005. This decline is likely because of the use of inter vivos trusts and other probate avoidance techniques.
According to LexisNexis, about 55 percent of adult Americans do not have an estate plan or will in place. Within minority groups, the number increases significantly: 68 percent of black adults and 74 percent of Hispanic adults do not have a will.
According to the U.S. Census, over 14 percent of Americans are aged 65 and up. AARP found that 41 percent of baby boomers do not have a will. Almost 35 percent of respondents claimed procrastination as the reason. Are you unsure about how to handle your Ohio estate planning? Do you have questions about what to expect or how to ensure your legacy and shield your assets from creditors and predators? Call Gudorf Law Group for help with all aspects of the probate process for a private, free consultation at 1-937-898-5583.