Advantages of Probate Mediation

Probate is the court-supervised process of administering a deceased person’s estate after their death. Ohio probate courts are also involved in appointing guardians for people who lack the capacity to manage their own affairs. These processes can be emotionally charged, and it is not uncommon for family members to have disputes about how estate business should be handled or who should be appointed administrator or guardian. These disputes have historically been resolved by litigation in the probate court.

Probate litigation may result in a definitive answer about the issue at hand, but probate matters are often also about conflicts that a court cannot effectively address. In recent years, probate mediation has become more popular as a way of reaching deeper, more lasting resolutions to the issues involved in probate disputes.

What is Probate Mediation?

Probate mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party, a trained mediator, helps parties to a probate dispute reach a mutually agreeable resolution… Read More

Storing Your Estate Planning Documents

Estate planning documents are only useful if the right people can reach them at the right time. You want to store your documents in a place where they will be safe, yet accessible to the people you want to be able to find them (and not others). What should you think about when deciding where and how to store your estate planning documents?

Organizing Estate Planning Documents

The first step in organizing and storing your estate planning documents is to identify just what constitutes your estate plan. An estate plan can, and should, include more than just a last will and testament. Some of the documents that might be included in your estate plan are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Trust
  • Durable financial power of attorney
  • Medical power of attorney
  • Living will
  • Life insurance policies

In short, these are documents that your loved ones will need to access when you are unable to communicate their location, either because you are… Read More

Do I Need to Hire a Probate Lawyer?

When an Ohio resident dies, a grieving family member is usually faced with the task of administering the estate, also known as probate. Probate can be a challenging process at the best of times, and even more so under the emotional strain of loss. Many people who are responsible for probating an estate have never done so before and do not know where to begin. A question we often hear from executors or administrators of estates is, “Do I need to hire a probate lawyer?”

The short answer to that question is that no, you are not required to have an attorney to probate an Ohio estate. But a better question is, “Would the probate process go more smoothly with a probate attorney’s help?” To that question, the answer is almost certainly “yes.”

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

To understand whether you need a probate lawyer’s help, it is important to understand what a probate attorney does. Probate is the legal proceeding for validating a will (if the deceased had one), settling creditors’ claims against the estate, and distributing any remaining assets to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries.

Probate often affects the rights of multiple… Read More