Q: Does a will have to go to probate in Ohio if there no assets to speak of?
My father passed away last month. The attorney who did the will is retired, possibly deceased. The bank named in the will as Executor has since been sold. They are telling me they don't do that, even though the will names the bank or it's successor. There is no real estate involved. Mom is the sole beneficiary, and the only bank account involved is joint ownership anyway. Do we have to probate the will, or can we forego that expense?
A: If the only asset is a joint account, there are no assets to probate. Make sure there is not any real property owned in his name only. If there is real property jointly owned, a filing with the county may be needed, but I don't believe, given that the sole asset is a joint account, that any probate is necessary.
A: You only need to go to probate if there are probate assets. Probate assets are those that do not have any of the following:
a joint owner
a listed beneficiary
or are not in trust.
It appears that there are no probate assets, but you could consult with a probate attorney to review and be sure.
A: She should take the money from the joint account. Keep the will in a safe place in case something comes up, but no need to probate it now.
C. Lawrence Huddleston III agrees with this answer
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