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Compassionate, Experienced Estate Administration Lawyers in Ohio

Attending to probate issues in Middletown, Hamilton, Liberty Township & West Chester

The responsibilities in administering a loved one’s estate can be burdensome and complex, and the potential legal challenges are daunting to consider.

The Attorneys at Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little approach Probate and Estate Administration practice the same way we do the rest of our work: with compassion and understanding. Frequently, people come to us having just lost a relative and being intimidated by the probate process. It is our job to set them at ease, and break probate down into smaller, more manageable pieces, while taking care of the difficult parts ourselves.

“Probate” refers to the process by which a court appoints an individual to administer and distribute the assets of a deceased individual. We will examine the assets and any will, and determine what works best.

To learn how you can help make the probate process quick and painless for your family, check out our Wills or Trusts sections.

The probate process

The Probate Court is responsible for ensuring that the decedent’s assets are collected and dispersed to the heirs and/or beneficiaries as dictated by the decedent’s will or trust instrument. The Probate Court appoints a fiduciary (Executor/ Executrix) who is granted authority to do this. Generally the fiduciary is either an executor named in the will or an administrator appointed according to Ohio law.

Duties of the fiduciary include:

  • Filing an inventory of the decedent’s property with an appraisal of its worth
  • Collecting monies due to the estate and paying valid expenses and debts of the estate
  • Determining who are the heirs and beneficiaries of the decedent and having the will construed if necessary
  • Following the probate court’s instructions for distributing the estate assets to the heirs and beneficiaries in accordance with the decedent’s Last Will & Testament
  • Preparing and filing estate tax returns, and paying taxes, if necessary

The distribution of the estate is determined by the terms of any Last Will & Testament or Trust left by the decedent.

If the person died intestate, then distribution is determined by Ohio Statutes of descent & distribution. Dying intestate means that a person has died without a will stating how his or her property (called an estate) is to be distributed.

Complete estate planning services

Our firm handles all aspects of estate planning and administration. Our Attorneys can prepare a Last Will & Testament to ensure your final wishes are met or a Living Will so that you can protect your dignity and final wishes regarding your medical care, should you become incapacitated. We also provide services in guardianships for minors, guardianships for special need adults, trusts, special needs trusts, revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. The Lawyers at Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little also provide services to clients in Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Preble, & Montgomery County in drafting Power of Attorney documents.

Contact a compassionate, experienced probate firm in Middletown

After the death of a loved one, you want the compassion, understanding and experience of Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little. Contact us online or by telephone at 513-393-8872 so we can help you in this difficult time.