Stark County Probate Attorney

Larry Slagle has handled cases that involve probate administration for over 20 years. Our office provides close, one-on-one service. You will deal directly with Larry and his staff.

Probate involves the admission of the decedent's will to the Probate Court and the process of distribution of the decedent's assets. The will and the estate will be handled in the County in which the decedent resided.

Who handles the estate?

An executor is the person named by the decedent to carry out the terms and provisions of his or her will. The executor will identify all documents left by the testator (i.e., wills, trusts, deeds, etc.) and usually will notify Social Security, pension providers, annuity providers, and other entities of the death.

The executor has numerous other legal responsibilities, which our firm will help with.

If the person’s will did not name anyone to be the executor, or the person(s) named in the will refuse or cannot act, then the probate court will appoint someone to act as the administratorof the estate. When someone dies without a will, the probate court will also appoint an administrator of the estate upon application.

The responsibilities can be daunting and time-consuming, so many executors hire an attorney to assist them. The attorney - and the ""executor"" - are generally compensated out of the estate itself. If you have been named the executor of an estate, contact our office to discuss your role and the estate administration process.

Non-Probate Estates

An estate may include non-probate assets, which generally do not have to be included in the inventory filed with the court. Non-probate assets are assets that legally pass from a decedent to a named beneficiary or to a co-owner at the time of death, without having to go through the probate court. Non-probate assets would include: insurance policies, IRAs and pensions that are payable on death to a beneficiary; and a home, car or bank account that the decedent owned jointly with rights of survivorship. In many cases, the bulk of a decedent’s assets may be non-probate assets. The administrator must identify non-probate assets but these assets are not otherwise included in the estate for which the administrator is responsible.

Assets disposed of outside the probate process are part of the non-probate estate. Since a probate proceeding is not required, these assets are distributed more quickly to the appropriate beneficiaries. Many people seek out these assets and ownership models in order to save their loved ones from the difficulties associated with going through the probate courts. If you are interested in managing your finances and your property so that your family does not have to go through probate, then contact us for advice.

Who may make a will?

Any person of the age of eighteen years, or over, of sound mind and memory, and not under restraint, may make a will.