Probate Attorney Columbus Ohio
The laws that govern your estate are complex. Too many estates land in probate proceedings because individuals did not have effective estate planning. (Find out how to avoid common estate planning mistakes). We create legal, flexible, and precise estate plans to ensure families are protected and assets are distributed per our client’s wishes. However, when the need arises, we provide experienced advocacy to help families through the probate process and any trust & estate litigation. We work to obtain will and trust settlements and resolve estate disputes efficiently and effectively so that the family can grieve and move on. Contact our Columbus Ohio law firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced probate law attorney.
What is Probate Law?
Following a person’s death, their assets are distributed in a legal process called probate. During this time, possessions and property are given to the appropriate people and estate debts are paid.
If the deceased person had a will, it’s used to determine who receives which assets. If they did not have a will, legal representatives get involved to determine the value of the estate and how it should be distributed.
Sometimes, the deceased person will have named someone to manage their affairs (executor). If a person was not named, one will be appointed by the court (personal representative or administrator).
The Steps of Probate
The first step of probate is for the judge to validate the deceased person’s will. Next, an estate representative will be appointed to manage the process. This person will then notify heirs and creditors, determine the value of the estate items, and pay funeral costs and other estate-related debts and taxes. Finally, any disputes are settled and the remaining property is distributed.
Why Hire Lawyer Support?
Trying to manage the complex probate procedures while dealing with the death of a loved one can add extra stress to an already challenging time. By hiring a legal expert, you can trust in your attorney that the legal proceedings are being properly handled.
Taneff Law office is Here for You
Thomas is a Columbus Ohio attorney and former Probate Court Magistrate who’s extremely well versed in probate court procedures. At our firm, our attorneys always strive to deliver the best possible outcomes. We offer services to Columbus and surrounding suburbs such as Delaware, Pickerington, Lancaster, Grove City, Hilliard, Dublin, New Albany, and more!
Probate Practice Insight: The Full Cycle of Life
Before assets can be distributed to heirs, the decedent’s will must be verified by the court. Probate offers an opportunity to ensure the validity of a will. As a former Probate Court Magistrate, Thomas has a wealth of knowledge of court procedures in Ohio. He can help clients understand the law and how the laws will impact their families.
Estate plans that are not carefully drawn up can end in contested wills or trusts or other costly probate litigation. Settlements are not always possible. In these cases, grief-stricken survivors have to face lawyers and complicated court matters which can quickly overwhelm them. In addition, a will contest or trust contest can severely strain family relationships. But with experienced attorneys such as Thomas Taneff by your side, you don’t have to worry about fighting the dispute alone. Our firm takes on the burden of resolving estate & trust litigation. Our ultimate goal is to obtain a speedy settlement of the estate to your satisfaction and to keep bitter disputes from destroying a family.
We will handle cases involving any probate administration or estate or trust litigation issue, including the following:
- Disputes of asset ownership
- Will or trust contests and disputes (duress, fraud, undue influence)
- Missing assets or concealed assets from a trust or estate
- Contested guardianships
- Appointment of fiduciaries (executors or administrators)
- The validity of transfers outside of probate
- Suspicious real estate transfers (sales or gifts)
- Breach of Fiduciary duty
- Compliance with obligations in a trust document
Whether you are looking to dispute a will or trust or need help defending a valid will or trust, our firm can help.
Disputing a Will or Trust
Under Ohio laws, wills and trusts can be disputed. This can be done by heirs—such as a child or other family member—or beneficiaries mentioned in the will or trust.
Wills and trusts can be disputed for a variety of reasons, including lack of capacity, fraud, undue influence, multiple wills, or the will were not properly signed or witnessed. For example, a person must be of sound mind in order to have the capacity to create a will. This person must also not be pressured or threatened by someone else. If you’re planning to dispute a will or trust, we’re here to help.
Defending a Valid Will or Trust
If someone is upset with what has or has not been left for them in a will, they still need a legal reason to contest the will. If a will or trust you know to be valid is being disputed, probate attorneys can help with defense.
Our mission is to give families the care and attention they deserve as we help them through the this difficult time. We do so with as little litigation and emotional upheaval as possible. If you need an experienced probate attorney in the Columbus area to help settle a family member’s estate, give us a call: (614) 241-2181, or contact us by email.
Updating Your Estate Planning During a Divorce
If you are going through a divorce in the Columbus, Ohio area, it’s important to have insights on how a divorce can impact estate planning. As a probate lawyer, we have experience working through these intricacies.
If you created a will before your divorce, most states’ law provides that any provision in the will for the benefit of your former spouse is ineffective. The will is not revoked; it is interpreted as if your ex-spouse had predeceased you.
On the other hand, in some states, divorce revokes the entire will. In either case, the former spouse has no rights in your estate as a beneficiary, executor, or administrator.
Estate Planning Services with Taneff Law
We also specialize in Ohio estate planning law. Thomas is a former Court Magistrate. That background ensures that he knows how to handle your estate plan to maximize the assets you pass on to your descendants and minimize tax consequences. See our family law services here. Not sure what filing for bankruptcy does for your estate? Read below to learn more about bankruptcy and contact us.
Bankruptcy and Estate Planning
If you need to file for bankruptcy (for example, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), it may impact your estate planning. Be sure to let your qualified bankruptcy attorney know about any financial accounts you have so that a proper assessment can be made. Your estate must settle your accounts before it can distribute assets, but filing for bankruptcy can protect your assets from debt collectors. It’s important to consult with an estate planning lawyer and a bankruptcy lawyer to find your best options.
How to Make the Most of Dying
The end of life can be chaotic and painful, even if you have money and family support. Though doctors may assume terminally-ill people want to live as long as possible, a 2017 study showed people care more about avoiding strain on their families, having medical preferences honored, and passing peacefully surrounded by loved ones. In addition to hiring a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to take care of things after you’re gone, you should also have a plan to make the last few years of life fulfilling…