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Probate & Estate Matters

Probate Litigators In Akron Ohio

When someone passes away, the surviving family members have a lot to deal with. It is a time of grief, and they also need to get the deceased’s estate settled. Many people think the biggest problem encountered during this process is simply waiting for the probate courts. However, in many cases, much bigger issues arise. Not everything always goes smoothly during probate litigation and sometimes, disputes crop up within the family.

These disputes make losing someone even more challenging. Fortunately, the law is clear on matters of probate including trust disputes, contesting a will, and the administration of an estate. A probate litigation lawyer can represent family members, administrators, and executors understand what the law says and resolve their probate issues.

Contesting a Will

The majority of wills are not contested, but that does not mean it is impossible to challenge what is outlined in a will. While probate courts generally want to uphold the last requests of the deceased, they will also take certain factors into consideration. Was an elderly person taken advantage of? Has one child received everything while the others were left nothing? Were there any last minute changes to the will?

In order to contest a will, a person must have grounds to do so. In Ohio, there are several grounds for challenging a will. They include:

  • The deceased was under undue influence at the time of creating their will
  • The deceased did not have the mental capacity necessary to create a will, such as suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • The deceased was a victim of fraud while creating their will
  • The deceased made a genuine mistake while creating their will

A probate judge will listen to all issues present with the will, and hear arguments from both sides before making their final decision on matters pertaining to wills.

Trust Disputes

Today, many people in Ohio die intestate. That is, they pass away without a will in place. When that is the case, sometimes the deceased has left behind a trust to replace his or her will. Trusts are also used in some cases to supplement a will. Trusts are similar to wills, and as such, issues also arise, and disputes sometimes erupt.

One of the biggest differences between wills and trusts is that trust disputes are typically more challenging to resolve. Unlike wills, trusts are not governed by the courts and so family members may not know who the trustee is, or even what assets are in a trust. In these instances, family members can file a trust contest lawsuit, which can help provide insight into any wrongdoing. Many of the same scenarios that prompt a will contest also prompt a trust contest.

Probate and Trust Administration

Being named administrator of an estate is extremely overwhelming. There are many responsibilities involved and many duties to perform. No one should do this without the help of an experienced attorney. They can help settle estate matters such as:

  • Finding and valuing assets of the estate
  • Settling debts
  • Preparing filings for probate court
  • Filing federal and state tax forms
  • Addressing issues pertaining to the allocation of assets to beneficiaries

Individuals that have funded a trust at any point in their life or that have established trusts funded after the death of a grantor often need continued support. An attorney can help with trust administration in many of the same ways above including filing tax forms and documents with the probate court.

Need Help with an Estate Issue? Contact an Ohio Probate Attorney Now

Many do not expect it at the time, but there are many issues involved with settling an estate. No one should try to undergo probate litigation without the help of a probate lawyer in Ohio. If you have estate issues you need resolving, contact Niekamp, Weisensell, Mutersbaugh & Mastrantonio, LLP. We will represent you throughout the entire probate process and help you resolve your issues quickly. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation.

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