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Estate Planning & Probate

Attorney Karl Kordalis

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Estate Planning

While it is not pleasant to think about death or disability, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.  Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also spare your loved ones the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.

Estate planning does not need to be overly complicated. Our office will help explain Ohio estate planning in a clear fashion after we have examined your specific circumstances and needs.

A simple Last Will and Testament along with proper titling of assets may be sufficient or a Last Will and Testament combined with one or more trusts may be appropriate. There are intervivos trusts and testamentary trusts; charitable trusts, Medicaid trusts and special needs trusts. Every person or family’s needs are specific and we will craft a plan that best fits your needs. Also, a proper estate plan should include a general power of attorney, a durable power of attorney for health care and, possibly, a living will. We will discuss with you all of these documents and whether they are appropriate for you.

Probate

When a loved one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration, where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed per the deceased intentions if a properly drafted Last Will and Testament was in place.  The length of time needed to complete the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules and schedule of the probate court.

Every probate estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:

  • Filing of a petition with the proper probate court.
  • Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs (if no Will exists).
  • Petition to appoint Executor (in the case of a Will) or Administrator for the estate.
  • Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator.
  • Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors.
  • Sale of estate assets.
  • Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
  • Final distribution of assets to heirs.
  • Accounting of all financial transactions.

Contact our office if you find yourself about to embark through the Probate Court. We know that it can be a complex process and we will help you navigate the Probate Court.

A well-crafted estate plan should provide for your loved ones in an effective and efficient manner by avoiding guardianship during your lifetime and probate, estate taxes and unnecessary delays after your death.  You should consult with Kordalis Law Office to review your family and financial situation, discuss your goals, and learn about the various options available to you.   Once your estate plan is in place, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have provided for yourself and your family, no matter what the future holds.

 

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