Estate Administration & Probate Archives

IRS temporarily softens portability election rules

Ohio residents may be aware that the unused portion of a deceased individual's federal estate tax exemption can be used by their surviving spouse, but they may not be aware that the strict paperwork required to obtain an extension for what is known as a portability election has led to the Internal Revenue Service being inundated with requests from executors. This soon developed into a major problem for the cash-strapped federal agency, and it announced in June that it would be addressing the issue by temporarily softening the rules dealing with portability election extensions.

Duties in estate administration

Ohio residents who have been named the executor of a loved one's will might wonder what their responsibilities are. Usually, the first thing that must be done in such a situation is identifying and securing assets. They should obtain several copies of the death certificate since this will be necessary in some cases. Other types of assets may involve filing a claim or other actions.

Using trusts to avoid probate

The probate process is something most Ohio residents would rather avoid. It is a lengthy legal procedure that ensures assets are disbursed according to a deceased person's wishes. Probate often involves high legal fees that can be avoided in part or in full by keeping the assets out of probate. The good news is trusts can be created to keep almost any kind of asset from falling victim to probate losses.

Executors who fail in their duties can be replaced

An Ohio resident who has been named the executor under a person's will has an important job. The executor is responsible for inventorying the contents of the estate and then distributing the assets to beneficiaries as provided for in the will. Any financial or tax-related decisions that the executor makes must be made with all of the beneficiaries in mind.

Estate plans and probate considerations

Ohio assets could be subject to probate in the event of their owner's death if certain steps have not been taken to avoid this situation. For example, an intestate estate would be handled through probate to ensure that distribution of assets reflects the laws related to inheritance in the state. Even when an individual leaves a will, a document that has not been handled legally could be subject to changes in the distribution of one's belongings. However, people who are concerned about their wishes being carried out can take several steps to minimize the potential for probate activity.

Duties of an executor

Ohio residents may be asked by their friends or loved ones to serve as the executor under their wills, but they may not fully understand what they are being asked to do. Settling an estate may take as long as two years, and executors must be organized and have a good head for finance. It is not necessary to be a financial or legal expert as professionals can be hired to offer guidance, but executors are expected to make sound decisions and communicate effectively with the named beneficiaries in the will.

The process of removing an ineffective executor

Ohio residents who have prepared their wills know that they have appointed an executor to handle the affairs of their estates after they die. While the executor ideally manages the estate in a timely manner, there are often times when an estate beneficiary may wish to make a change. If an executor is not performing his or her duties competently, there are several options available to beneficiaries. The first step may be to draft a formal letter of demand that makes a request of the executor to timely and economically administer the estate.

Usefulness of living trusts extends beyond avoiding probate

Probate in Ohio is the process by which a will is recognized and a personal representative or executor is appointed to pay debts, distribute assets and otherwise administer the decedent's estate. Many states have laws allowing for simplified probate procedures, which can make the process less expensive and more efficient, depending on the facts of the case.

The estate administration process in Ohio

Those who have lost a loved one must deal with emotional stress and make sure that the estate is handled properly. The estate executor is now responsible for inventorying assets, making sure taxes and debts are paid and that the assets left in the estate are distributed to their intended recipients. In most cases, the last will and testament of the deceased will dictate how assets are distributed.

What happens when someone dies without a will?

When an Ohio resident passes away without a valid will, the state will take on the responsibility of making one. This process is known as intestate succession, and its purpose is to distribute a decedent's assets in a way that resembles the average estate plan. Even if existing evidence makes it clear that a decedent wanted their wealth to be distributed in a certain fashion, no exceptions to the intestate succession process will be made.

Office Location

Independence Office
6100 Oaktree Blvd.
Suite #200 - Park Centre 1
Independence, OH 44131

Toll Free: 866-642-0932
Phone: 216-245-0185
Fax: 216-595-2787
Map & Directions

Mayfield Heights Office
6105 Parkland Boulevard
Suite 140
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124

Toll Free: 866-642-0932
Phone: 216-245-0185
Fax: 216-595-2787
Mayfield Heights Law Office Map

Westlake Office
159 Crocker Park Boulevard
4th Floor
Westlake, OH 44145

Toll Free: 866-642-0932
Phone: 216-245-0185
Fax: 216-595-2787
Map & Directions

2005 BBB Torch Award Recipient Recipients of the 2005 BBB Torch Award Honoring Business of Integrity

  • Charter Member Elder care matters Alliance
  • National Academy of Elder law attorneys Inc. Member
  • ASNP
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association | CMBA Green Certified 2015-17
  • Listed On Elder case Websites