Experienced Cincinnati Probate Attorneys
“Probate” is the term used to describe the handling of a person’s affairs after death to pay bills and distribute assets. Generally, probate involves some proceeding with the local county Probate Court. This is called the administration of an estate.
What Do Probate Lawyers Do? How Can They Help?
As Probate attorneys, it is our job to assist and advise the person appointed to take care of a decedent’s affairs in handling these matters. The person designated to take care of an individual’s affairs is termed the “fiduciary” of the estate. If the fiduciary is formally appointed by the Probate Court they are known as the Executor, Executrix, Administrator or Administratrix of the estate. It is their job to gather the assets, pay the bills and make distribution of assets, whether pursuant to the terms of the Will or pursuant to statutory law if the individual died without a Will (intestate). The probate process is a time consuming process and can be tedious. Because everything in court is controlled by statutory law, things are performed within a controlled timeframe. A well organized estate plan may avoid the probate process.
Probate Court is the responsible court for handling adoption proceedings, guardianship proceedings and the determination of competency issues. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all matters before the Probate Court in any of the surrounding county jurisdictions.
A Will formally called “The Last Will and Testament”, is a written instruction sheet from an individual that designates how their assets should be distributed and who is to be appointed to make that disposition. In Ohio, a Will must be executed by the individual testator, dated and signed in the presence of two independent witnesses to be effective.
Our office can assist in the writing and preparation of these documents, making sure that no loose ends are left unaddressed, and no ambiguities remain in the wording of the Will.
If there is any conflict over the designated executor, a probate attorney can help resolve such conflicts. If, after the decedent dies, the Will is contested, then probate attorneys can address those concerns.
A Trust Agreement is a written set of instructions provided to the Trustee as to how to handle the assets held by the Trust. A Trust may be “inter-vivos” established “during lifetime” or “testamentary” established by “The Last Will and Testament”. Trusts are an excellent tool to use in the estate planning process.
Trusts are particularly helpful if the beneficiaries of a Will are minors. The trust can be established to distribute a set percentage each year, or an amount that can change each year as the beneficiaries mature. A trust can distribute in larger sums at a set age — 20% at age 25, 30% at age 30, for example — or it can be earmarked for specific uses, such as tuition payments or real estate investments. Our attorneys can help you tailor your Will and trust documents to your exact desires, and can make the documents official.
Experienced Cincinnati Probate Lawyers
Contact the attorneys at Donnellon, Donnellon and Miller today for assistance with probate matters by calling 513.791.7087 or using our online contact form.