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If you expected an inheritance from a loved one but did not receive it, or received less than anticipated, you may have a good reason to challenge the deceased person’s last will and testament. Challenging the validity of a will is commonly called a “will contest,” and the person who created the will is called the “testator.”
Who may contest a testator’s...Read More
Joint and survivorship property is property owned by two or more people, with a special feature: at the death of one of the co-owners, that interest passes to the surviving co-owner or co-owners. For example, let’s say three people, X, Y and Z are joint owners of a piece of property with survivorship rights. In this situation, X, Y and Z each own a 1/3 interest in the property. If X...Read More
When a real estate owner dies without a will, the Probate Court must determine to whom that real estate passes according to the laws of intestate succession. Once the court determines the appropriate person to take the real estate, it will issue a certificate of transfer. This document basically operates as a deed to the property, transferring the interests of the decedent to the appropriate...Read More
Ohio’s intestacy statutes identify who is entitled to take from a decedent’s estate, and in what proportion. Several of these provisions include an obscure legal term: per stirpes. Per stirpes (and its counterpart, per capita), often show up in wills, as well.
Per stirpes is latin for “by the branch” while per capita is latin for “by the head.” Despite...Read More
Many clients seek our legal services to help them draft a last will and testament that disposes of their property after they pass away. In some circumstances, however, we may recommend that the client not draft a will, and instead have the Probate Court dispose of the client’s property. The reasons for this can be wide and varied, but most commonly involve an expectation that several...Read More
I am regularly surprised at how our estate planning practice overlaps with our oil and gas practice. Lately I have helped a number of clients navigate the re-titling of an ancestor’s mineral interest by working through the probate courts. When an individual dies, the probate court takes all of the real property titled in the deceased person’s name and determines the new owner....Read More
Many people mistakenly believe that they need to have a lot of money to benefit from a trust. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many benefits trusts provide don’t have anything to do with how much money someone has. Trusts just make managing assets simpler, and operate a little differently than wills: the probate court ensures that an individual’s will is...Read More
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