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What is involved with probate administration?

Ohio residents who want their assets distributed in a certain way after they pass away need to write a valid will and name a probate administrator to manage their wishes. Probate administration encompasses a number of responsibilities and it is important to choose someone trustworthy and responsible to be in charge.

According to the Ohio Bar Association, a probate administrator, or executor, is typically named in the will. If one is not named, the court will appoint one and it can be a bank, trust or individual. The administrator is responsible for managing a number of tasks, and they are supervised by the court judge and staff. One task is to follow the instructions of the will or court order to make sure assets are distributed correctly. The executor must verify the personal information of the heirs and beneficiaries and care for the property of the decedent. He or she must also collect debts and make sure all claims against the estate are valid. Along with receiving estate payments, the administrator must also complete tax returns when required.

Because of the accountability involved with the process, choosing the right probate administrator or executor is important. The Huffington Post recommends picking someone who is well-organized, adept at paperwork, deadline-oriented, dependable and honest. While some people choose a family member, this is not always the best idea. Doing so can cause issues within the family, and they may not have the skills necessary for the job. Sometimes choosing a professional such as a tax accountant, attorney or bank expert will ensure the process will go smoothly.