Michael D. Schindler, Esq.

Experience You Can Trust                                                              440-230-1799

LIVING TRUST LAW

Michael D. Schindler, Attorney & Counselor at Law.  Call today to protect your legal rights.  440-230-1799

Representing Clients in the Probate or Estate Administration Process


WHAT IS PROBATE?


The death of a family member or loved one is a challenging time made more difficult by the prospect of probating an estate.  Family members often need assistance with the technical aspects of estate administration.  At the Schindler Law Office, we assist Ohio residents probate estates regardless of whether a will exists. 


From small estates with only a few assets or bank accounts to large estates with more complex business interests and multi-state assets, we provide the results our clients need.  

Probate is a legal proceeding that is supervised by the Probate Court in the decedent’s county of residence.  The probate process typically takes anywhere from 6 to 18 months to complete.  The probate process consists of the following steps: 


  • Will is filed with Probate Court
  • Probate Court appoints an executor
  • Executor notifies all beneficiaries named in the will
  • Executor gathers and values the estate assets
  • Executor pays creditors and estate administration expenses
  • Executor files tax returns
  • Executor files inventory and accounting reports with the Probate Court
  • Executor distributes the remaining assets to the named beneficiaries 


If you were named as the Executor in a will, my office can assist you with the legal requirements for distributing the deceased’s estate.  We will appear in court when required, assist with the transfer and valuation of assets, open the estate checking account, locate beneficiaries, transfer assets from the deceased to the estate, file the will with the county Probate Court, prepare and file the Inventory and Fiduciary’s Account, assist with the resolution of creditor claims and the implementation of the decedent’s estate to ensure the proper distribution of assets to the named beneficiaries. 


The laws are complex, and professional legal advice in this area is important.  My office is experienced in the probate process and can navigate this difficult process to ease the burden on the family and Executor during this emotional time. 

HOW CAN I AVOID PROBATE? 


Probate can be avoided with proper estate planning. A person will not avoid probate by simply having a will.  However, a will coupled with a revocable living trust would ensure that your estate will pass outside of probate.  A living trust places your assets and property "in trust" which are then managed by a trustee for the benefit of your beneficiaries. It allows you to avoid probate entirely because the property and assets are already distributed to the trust.


REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST  

For most people, a significant goal of estate planning is to avoid probate.  A revocable living trust is designed to avoid probate and is also used to safeguard financial privacy and manage assets and business ownership interests should the owner pass away or become incapacitated.  A revocable trust is an alternative way to own property during your life and transfer property at your death.  

A revocable trust is private. It is never made public, even upon your passing. It avoids the court system and results in substantially lower fees than probate.  The revocable trust also allows you to name guardians for your children and provide guidelines for the guardian to follow when caring for your children.  With a revocable trust, you can stagger the amount of inheritance your children will receive, typically for when they are mature enough to handle a significant sum of money.  Without a living trust, your children would receive their inheritance at age 18 with no guidance on how to spend or invest the money.  

PROBATE LAW