Estate Planning & Probate

Estate Planning & Probate

Creating a solid estate plan is important for people in all walks of life. At Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Mathews, we offer clients a wide range of trusts and estates services, including estate planning, probate administration, and probate litigation. We work closely with clients and families throughout Ohio to develop personalized estate plans that accomplish the important goals of protecting inheritances for heirs, minimizing estate taxes, avoiding the probate process where possible, and ensuring that their wishes are carried out when they are gone.

We also assist individuals and families with probate administration for estates of all sizes and complexities. We appear regularly in Probate Courts throughout Ohio and are well-versed in local variations in practice and procedure. Throughout the probate process, we keep our clients informed and up-to-date, promptly addressing any concerns or questions, so that you are comfortable with how the process is proceeding and have a full understanding of your rights and responsibilities along the way.

We also represent individuals and families bringing or defending will contests based on, among other reasons, undue influence, improper execution, lack of competence, and fraud. Even with careful planning and the best of intentions, inheritance disputes sometimes arise, and it is critical to have an experienced probate litigation attorney on your side. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their rights are being protected and that the true wishes and intentions of their lost loved one are carried out justly and fairly.

Whether your estate is simple or sophisticated, whether you are just starting the estate planning process or you find yourself embroiled in a contentious dispute over a will or a messy probate administration, we will provide practical guidance and sound counsel during what can be a highly stressful time for you and your loved ones.

Ohio Estate Planning Documents

There are many different types of estate planning documents, and the most beneficial estate planning document for you will depend on your circumstances and the goals you wish to accomplish. Here are a few of the most common estate planning tools:

Wills

Wills include provisions that detail how you wish to distribute your property after you die, and to whom. They also include provisions regarding the person you want caring for your minor children in the event something should happen to you.

Unlike a trust, a will needs to be validated and go through the probate process (which can be complex and time-consuming) and is also subject to estate taxes.

Powers of Attorney

Powers of attorney identify the individual you wish to take control of certain aspects of your life in the event you are incapacitated or cannot make decisions on your own. There are many types of powers of attorney. For example, a medical power of attorney gives power to an agent who will make decisions regarding your medical or health care. A financial power of attorney authorizes a specific person to manage your finances.

Trusts

Trusts include provisions that transfer legal ownership of certain property you own to a person or entity. The property is kept in a trust and managed by a designated individual known as a trustee. There are many different types of trusts available, such as special needs trusts, charitable trusts and revocable trusts.

Unlike a will, you (the grantor) can decide when and how much the beneficiary receives after you pass away. This is important for certain grantors who may not wish to bestow assets on a beneficiary until he or she reaches a certain age. Importantly, assets in a trust are not subject to estate taxes and fall outside the probate process.

Probate Administration

We are dedicated to helping our clients accomplish the necessary probate administration tasks with responsiveness, compassion, and efficiency. Probate administration involves a lot of moving parts, requiring organization, coordination among many different parties and entities, and careful attention to detail. Our probate administration services include practical experience and depth of knowledge in valuation of assets, real estate issues, and estate tax implications, and our clients value the thorough, meticulous, personalized approach we take in every probate administration matter we handle.

Our experienced probate attorneys will make sure that every deadline is met, that all the necessary paperwork is properly completed and timely filed, including tax returns and estate inventories, and that your rights are well-protected from start to finish.

Probate Litigation

In some situations, a loved one passes away and his or her estate passes through the probate process without much controversy. However, in so many other instances, problems arise and issues need to be resolved among the parties. Perhaps the individual passed away without leaving a will. Perhaps a loved one wishes to contest the will due to a belief that undue influence played a part in executing the will.

At Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Mathews, we have significant experience representing beneficiaries, fiduciaries, and other parties in a variety of estate disputes, including will contests, trustee/beneficiary conflict of interest issues, breach of contract, foreclosure, collection, and partnership disputes.

Schedule a No-obligation Consultation Today

If you need help with estate planning, probate administration, or a probate dispute, let us help you. Call 330-499-6000 or email us to schedule a consultation with one of our Estate Planning/Probate lawyers today. Flexible appointments are available.

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