When an individual dies, certain assets of the decedent (non-probate) may be transferred by contract, such as joint and survivorship property or payable on death accounts. Other assets (probate) may be transferred through proceedings in Probate Court.
Most persons die owning both probate and non-probate assets, all of which generally require some type of documentation to complete the transfer. There are advantages and disadvantages in using non-probate or probate proceedings. It is prudent to consult an attorney to determine the best manner in which to hold one's assets.
It is the Probate Court's responsibility to ensure the probate assets are collected, maintained, and distributed among the decedent's heirs, beneficiaries, and/or creditors according to the direction of the decedent as expressed through a will and the laws of Ohio. This process is known as the administration of a decedent's estate.