By: Matthew Rinear
One of my favorite movies is Back to the Future. While undeniably fun, clever, and deceptively sophisticated, the film also presents thought-provoking questions surrounding the story’s time-traveling theme: What would it be like to travel back in time? What would you do? How would your first-hand view of the past change the way you approach the present? If you’re like me and have romanticized the idea of experiencing the past in this manner, I have great news for you: a method of time-travel currently exists. Once your loved ones pass, hop in your DeLorean, gun it to 88 MPH, and head through the Probate Court process. Vrrrroomm.
As you reach your destination, revel in archaic institutions of the past: never-ending lines, stacks upon stacks of paperwork, illogical, circular processes, and bureaucratic red tape. Mention things like “time efficiency,” or “E-filing” and receive looks of incredulous bewilderment, like you’re Marty McFly belting out “Johnny B. Goode” on stage at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. And, as an added bonus, shell out a significant fee for this cumbersome, plodding process.
You see, not only does the Probate Court’s unnecessarily slow and complex procedure cost you time, but it will also cost you significant money. The majority of Ohio counties have pre-approved fee-schedules for attorneys probating an estate. Accordingly, an Ohio probate attorney who administers your loved one’s estate will receive a percentage—typically ranging between 3-5% of the estate’s value, according to the AARP. Making matters worse, this percentage fee is not contingent upon the level of difficulty or amount of work involved with the administration of the estate. Thus, even if you think you have an “easy” case, your parents’ attorney will be entitled to collect his or her 3-5%, automatically. Much like Biff Tannen with his Gray’s Sports Almanac, the attorney will keep your parents’ wills under lock and key, guaranteeing the probate work and what is often a hefty payday.
Instead, come see us at AlerStallings. We understand that your time and money are valuable and not to be spent wading through the Probate Court process. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on educational events to learn how AlerStallings can help make administration of estates as quick and painless as possible.