Probate and Wills

Probate is the legal process through which the court oversees the estate of a deceased loved one to make sure the debts are paid and the estate is properly distributed to the heirs.

Many people think that probate applies to you only if you have a Will.  This is not true! Your estate will be probated whether or not you have a Will.

With a valid Will: Your will determines how your estate is distributed during probate and to whom.

Without a valid Will: The laws in the state where you live dictate who gets what parts of your estate.

Think of the probate process as the “script” that guides the orderly transfer of your estate according to the rules. To ensure the appropriate individuals in your life are cared for after your passing, consider creating a will.

This small step you take now could mean an easier transition for your family at the time of bereavment and disruption to your family.


Estate and Trust

  • Estates and Trust – Wikipedia  The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation of the event of such person’s incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law. Its techniques are also used to fulfil the wishes of philanthropic bequests or gifts through the creation, maintenance and supervision of charitable trusts. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, it overlaps with the area that has come to be known as elder law that deals not only with estate planning but other issues that face the elderly, such as home care, long term care insurance or social security or disability benefits.
  • Estates and trusts  Generally, a trust is a right in property (real or personal) which is held in a fiduciary relationship by one party for the benefit of another. The trustee is the one who holds title to the trust property, and the beneficiary is the person who receives the benefits of the trust.
  • Estates Planning FAQs  The American Bar Association answers frequently asked questions on Estates and Trusts.
  • Trust Law – Wikipedia  In common law legal systems, a trust is an arrangement whereby money or property is managed by one person (or persons, or organizations) for the benefit of another but is owned by the ‘Trust’. A trust is created by a settlor, who entrusts some or all of his or her property to people of his choice (the trustees). The trustees are the legal owners of the trust property (or trust corpus), but they are obliged to hold the property for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations (the beneficiary, a.k.a. cestui que use or cestui que trust), usually specified by the settlor. The trustees owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, who are the “beneficial” owners of the trust property.
  • Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Estate and Trust Law

  • Crash Course In Wills and Trust  This course is a concise and practical guide to what everyone should know about the law of Wills and Trusts – as well as a range of other matters – before an estate plan is designed. It began as an outline for an “adult ed” class at the local community college, and is based on real questions, concerns and issues encountered over many years, among people at all economic levels, from modest to quite substantial. Wills and Trusts are just tools in the larger process of “estate planning.”
  • Estate Tax – Wex  One of the oldest and most common forms of taxation is the taxation of property held by an individual at the time of their death. Such a tax can take the form, among others, of estate tax (a tax levied on the estate before any transfers). An estate tax is a charge upon the decedent’s entire estate, regardless of how it is disbursed. An alternative form of death tax is an inheritance tax (a tax levied on individuals receiving property from the estate). Taxes imposed upon death provide incentive to transfer assets before death.
  • Gift and Estate Resources for Professionals.  Case studies, workshops and professional planned giving resources.
  • Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law – ABA  The Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section is a leading national forum for lawyers, and currently has over 30,000 members. The Real Property Division focuses on legal aspects of property use, ownership, development, transfer, regulation, financing, taxation and disposal. The Trust and Estate Division focuses on all aspects of trusts, estate planning, employee benefits, insurance, and probate and trust litigation.
  •  Cuyahoga County Probate Court, Ohio probate forms  
  • Tax Law Changes for Gifts and Estates and Trusts
  • IRS information on Estates and Trusts.
  • U.S. State Statutes for Probate  Links to all of the States Statutes.
  • What is Estate Planning – ABA  What Happens if You Die Without A Will? What A Will Does? What A Will Does Not Do? How To Execute a Will?

Questions about our probate services? 

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