Wills, Trusts and Estates

wills, estates and probate for motorcyclists in OhioThe issues and the questions relating to wills, probate laws, estate laws, elder care laws and estate planning can be complex and confusing. However, these are very important topics in life no matter how large or small your estate may be.

People from all walks of life have similar questions about their futures and their family’s security:

    • What happens to my property when I die?
    • What happens to my property if I become disabled?
    • What planning should I do to make it easy on my family when I die?
    • What exactly is probate and what does it mean?

These are the types of questions that need to be answered so you can properly prepare for what lies ahead in life. Knowing the answers to these questions will give you and your family peace of mind.

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm providing a full range of services for wills, estate planning, probate and elder care law. There are many facets to probate and estate laws and many scenarios to consider in estate planning that must be analyzed. Our lawyers offer clients vast experience and provide them with an estate plan that fits their needs, objectives and wishes.

We also offer clients extensive experience in all areas of trust and probate litigation. Many times, problems, disputes or disagreements arise over the administration of a trust or an estate. When that happens, we help clients effectively resolve issues and make sure they are treated fairly.

Estate Administration

When someone dies, their estate must be administered. This may or may not include going through a formal probate process. If the deceased person had a will, the document will normally specify an executor to carry out the instructions outlined in the will. The executor must follow the provisions of the will and comply with all applicable state and federal laws.

Slater & Zurz LLP provides clients with over 40 years of legal experience. Our attorneys’ vast knowledge and decades of practical experience with estate administration prove to be extremely beneficial for clients.

Trust Administration

When a trust has been created, it must be administered by a Trustee and the provisions set forth within the trust must be followed. Typically, the person who established the trust is the initial Trustee. When that person dies, the management of the trust passes to a successor Trustee. The successor Trustee must continue to properly administer the trust, follow its rules and abide by all state and federal laws that govern trusts.

At Slater & Zurz LLP, we help clients administer trusts. Our highly experienced lawyers play vital roles in trust administration by serving as Trustees or providing legal counsel and guidance to Trustees. If you are serving as a Trustee and need to consult with an attorney about the administration of a trust, please contact us for a free consultation to discuss your specific questions.

Probate of an Estate

Probate is a legal process in Ohio to administer certain types of property (known as probate property) which was individually owned by a person who has died.

Ohio probate laws and the probate process have been established to oversee the distribution of an estate in accordance with the deceased person’s will and/or Ohio laws. In addition, the probate process assures that all claims, expenses and taxes for the estate are properly paid.

Probate proceedings take place in the probate court of the Ohio county where the deceased person lived. Probating an estate involves the appointment of a person to administer the estate. If the deceased person had a will, this person is called the executor. If the deceased person did not have a will or the will did not specify an executor, the probate court appoints a person who is known as the administrator.

The executor or administrator performs various duties supervised by the probate court. These tasks may include the following:

      • Responsibility for all property of the estate.
      • Collecting all payments due the estate.
      • Determining the heirs of the estate and communicating with the heirs.
      • Paying all valid claims against the estate.
      • Filing all required federal and state income tax returns.
      • Implementing the directions and instructions provided by the probate court.

There is no specific amount of time and duration for the probate process to complete. Every estate and probate court in Ohio is unique and different. However, claims against the estate can easily take six (6) months to resolve. If the filing of state and federal income taxes are involved, the probate process can take a year or more to finalize.

Probate Litigation

It is probably not too surprising to know probate related matters can end up in litigation. Probate cases involve a variety of financial and emotional issues which can end up needing to be resolved in a court of law.

At Slater & Zurz LLP, we offer clients extensive probate litigation experience. We handle issues relating to the administration of an estate. We represent beneficiaries of wills and trusts. We also represent executors and trustees in defending against actions by beneficiaries.

Areas of probate litigation in which we have helped clients include:

    • Will Contests
    • Trust Litigation
    • Estate Fraud
    • Trust Fraud
    • Undue Influence
    • Lack of Capacity
    • Inheritance Disputes
    • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
    • Exploitation Concerns
    • Financial Abuse of the Elderly
    • Misuse of Power of Attorney
    • Appointment of a Fiduciary
    • Appointment of a Guardian
    • Removal of a Fiduciary
    • Removal of a Guardian
    • Representation of Trustees and Beneficiaries for Issues Related to the Ohio Trust Code.
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