Probate is the process of distributing a person’s estate — that is, their assets and property — after they have passed away. If that person created a will, probate tends to be fairly simple and straightforward. If, on the other hand, that person did not leave behind a will, the legal professionals involved must defer to Ohio’s state laws in order to complete the process. For this reason, it is always advisable to create your own estate plan sooner rather than later. That way, you can rest easier knowing your estate is secure, your wishes are known, and your loved ones will not have to face an unnecessary legal headache in the future.


A number of factors affect the manner in which the probate process needs to be handled for each case. First, the probate process must take place in the county of the deceased's legal residence at the time of their death.

Next is determining which assets may be probate assets and which assets, if any, may be non-probate assets.  The way in which an asset is titled helps in determining this factor. The attorney can help you sort through this step.

Once you determine if there any assets which are necessary to probate, the second step is then determining the value of these assets.  There are three different types of probate administration (Summary, Relief and Full).  The total value of all the probate assets determines which administration to follow. Again, the attorney can assist you with this process.

The attorney can then help with transferring the assets of the deceased  (both probate and non-probate).  

Please keep in mind that even though an asset may be held jointly between yourself and the deceased, it may be still be necessary for legal documentation to be submitted to ensure proper ownership.  If, for instance, you and your loved one jointly shared a home, you still have to complete and record a legal document titled "Affidavit of Survivorship".  In other words, you would need to take certain steps that legally declare you as the now sole owner of the property you shared.  Once a person passes away, this does not ensure automatic sole ownership of an asset, especially real estate. 

At current time, Ohio no longer collects estate taxes from its residents, which is very fortunate for people entering into the probate process. 

To ensure nothing is being overlooked, it’s best to seek the aid of an experienced probate attorney.


If you’re looking for guidance through the probate process, you are undoubtedly going through a difficult time right now, and I’d like to help. Although nothing can ease the pain of losing someone you love, I can at least take some of your legal burden off your shoulders.

In addition to helping you understand the probate process, I can also work with you to file the necessary documents, review your loved one’s last will and testament, and determine your next steps. This process may seem overwhelming at first glance, but my mission is to make this experience as easy and stress-free for you as possible. In fact, if you decide to work with me, you will quickly discover that I'm with you every step of the way.

Contact us for help


When you lose someone you care about, the last thing you should have to worry about is legal details. At my firm, I put my energy into simplifying the probate process so you can focus on what matters most during this difficult time. If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to call (513) 522-5800.


Daniel C. Atwood, Attorney at Law

4015 Executive Park Drive, Suite 302, Cincinnati, OH 45241, US

(513) 522-5800