Probate & Estate Administration

Probate, Estate Administration, Trust Administration

There are a number of different reasons you may need the assistance of an experienced probate and estate administration lawyer in Ohio. Perhaps you’ve recently lost a loved one who had a will, and you’ve been named as a beneficiary or executor. Alternatively, where the deceased didn’t have a will, you might need advice on your rights for appointment as representative or as a descendant.

The team at Fout Law has extensive experience representing clients no matter how they’re involved with probate and estate administration. We can help you understand your rights and obligations under state law, so the process of handling a decedent’s estate is smooth and efficient. Attorney Teresa Fout will advocate on your behalf, providing individualized attention and legal support you need after losing a loved one.

Overview of Probate & Estate Administration

Estate administration and probate are the processes involved with handling a person’s affairs after he or she dies. The details of the proceedings vary, but typically start by filing documents requesting that the probate court:

  • Appoint a personal representative to take responsibility for the estate and issue letters of administration, where there is no will; OR,
  • Issue letters testamentary to the person designated as executor, where there is a will.

Once there is an individual with legal authority to act on behalf of the estate, that person is responsible for:

  • Collecting assets and prudently managing them so they don’t lose value during the estate administration process;
  • Paying the claims of creditors for the debts the decedent owed at his or her death;
  • Distributing assets according to Ohio law OR as described in the will.

Understanding Your Role in Testate or Intestate Estates

The probate process seems relatively straightforward, but there are numerous scenarios that can complicate matters for the executor, administrator, and those who may receive assets of the estate. It’s critical to retain the services of a lawyer in certain scenarios, depending on the role you play:

  • As an administrator of an intestate estate, you must file the proper documents in court to request appointment because there is no will. Under state law, there are certain rules about who qualifies and the order of preference for appointment.
  • If you’re an executor of a testate estate, there may be complications due to will challenges or how you’re performing your duties.
  • Beneficiaries under a will may have concerns about how an executor is managing assets before distribution.
  • Descendants in an intestate estate may battle with others equally situated in multiple petitions for letters of administration, which means a court must make a determination.

Retain an Experienced Lawyer for Probate & Estate Administration

Regardless of whether a deceased person had a will, probate and estate administration can be confusing if you don’t have a legal background. At Fout Law, we’re dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of Ohio probate law and eliminating the confusion. Our team represents clients involved in the estate administration process in various roles, so please contact our North Canton, OH office at 330-437-7455 with questions. You can also obtain more information or schedule a consultation by visiting us online.

When a family member or close friend passes away, you may have been named Executor or Trustee, or they may have died without any kind of will or trust. You need an attorney to guide you through the Estate Administration, or Trust Administration process, to make sure you:

  • meet the appropriate deadlines,
  • file the right forms,
  • notify all of the appropriate persons, companies, government agencies, etc., and
  • properly pay the debts and distribute the assets of the estate.

If you are administering an estate, you are personally liable. This means that other family members can sue you personally if you mismanage the estate. Get help from an attorney to make sure you are administering the estate or trust properly.

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