Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.
And when you've got nothing you've got no need for probate.
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It sounds as though there is no need to probate his estate. If he filed a tax return for 2011, it would be useful to file a "last and final" return with both the state and IRS so they close their files and don't keep sending notices of past due returns.
If he had any creditors, it is possible that a creditor could try to open an estate in order to try and collect what is owed, but you are not required to take any action.
Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families throughout Ohio. He may be contacted directly by phone toll-free at 888.488.7878 or by email CLH@HUDDLAW.COM. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.