Our probate services are all designed to assist clients in navigating the local probate court’s processes and procedures to arrive at the desired result for the family. Sometimes the required documentation, due dates and court filings can be overwhelming for a client to undertake on his own, particularly because the probate court typically becomes involved (if at all) during a difficult time for the family, whether in estate administration following the death of a loved one, a guardianship proceeding for an ailing parent or other similar circumstances.

Over the years our clients have asked us to undertake many different projects relating to probate law and the probate process. A non-exhaustive, representative example of probate matters we’ve undertaken are listed below:

  1. Assisting executors in administering the estate of a deceased family member to ensure the appropriate beneficiaries receive the correct benefit from the estate;
  2. Preparing and filing federal estate tax returns with both the local probate court and the IRS to ensure appropriate estate tax compliance;
  3. Helping a concerned family member apply for and obtain guardianship authority to help an aging family member make financial and health care decisions;
  4. Working with other attorneys and social workers to help families adopt a child via private placement; and

  5. Filing an application to amend an irrevocable trust via private settlement agreement and subsequent judicial approval.

Any probate assignment necessarily carries with it a certain documents that must be drafted and signed as well as forms to be completed and signed in order to properly accomplish the parties’ objectives. The kinds of documents a client might see, depending upon the project, are mostly court pleadings and local versions of forms created by the Ohio Supreme Court. Those forms are filed with the local probate court and become a part of the public record.

Recent Blog Posts in this category

  • Recap: Navigating an Estate Plan in the New Year- On December 4, 2013, I was given the opportunity to speak at Fisher-Titus Medical Center to a small group of attendees on various estate planning topics. For those readers not in attendance, below is a brief recap of that presentation: 1. Overview of the Probate Process. The term “probate” refers mostly to the formal court... View Article
  • Trusts and the Probate Process- Many Ohio residents set up revocable living trusts to administer assets both before and after their lifetimes.  There are a number of different reasons to undertake trust planning, but one of the reasons often given is to “avoid probate.”  However, setting up the trust by itself, without taking any further steps, won’t cause an individual’s assets to... View Article
  • [Video] FAQ: What is Probate?- New Video: Frequently Asked Questions:  What is Probate?  
  • Last Week’s Probate Presentation- I had the pleasure of speaking last week at a continuing education event for other attorneys on matters relating to probate administration. One of my topics of responsibility had to do with the role of the executor (or administrator) in effectively administering an estate. While that presentation was geared toward other lawyers, many non-lawyer individuals... View Article
  • The 5 Big Worries of Estate Planning: #2 Probate- Why does everyone want to avoid probate?  Many individuals share this goal when starting the estate planning process, but what exactly does it mean to “avoid probate” and why is probate so evil? In very general terms, probate is the process by which the estate of a decedent is administered and the assets distributed to... View Article