The decline or death of a loved one is an incredibly emotional time that often results in stress and disagreement even in the closest of families.
In far too many cases, families fail to seek experienced legal help, or seek help and guidance far later in the process than they should. In many cases, they mistakenly believe that consulting an attorney will add to the acrimony or make matters worse. However, the job of an experienced Cleveland probate attorney is to help take the emotion out of the process, while ensuring that a client’s rights are protected.
An experienced probate law firm knows and understands the benefits of keeping emotions in check and will work to professionally mitigate disagreements. When that is not possible, there is obvious need for an attorney to protect your rights anyway.
During the process, there are a number of people who will have an outsized role in the process, including conservators, guardians, trustees, administrators and executors. Disagreements about which family member should hold such positions are common. Not seeking experienced help until after you disagree with an appointment or decisions made by someone in such a position means you are already at a disadvantage.
After a loved one passes, the estate settlement process will often proceed both in and out of probate court. Probate court is designed to settle the debts and distribute some assets under court supervision. However, assets held in trust, some real estate held jointly, and assets that are Transferable on Death or Payable on Death may pass to named beneficiaries outside the probate process.
Common disputes that arise during estate settlement include:
Ohio law aims to settle the affairs of a deceased person in a timely fashion. This means there are very strict timeframes to contest an estate - typically as few as three to six months. Additionally, the process is complicated by the fact many assets may transfer to heirs outside the probate process. Too often, heirs mistakenly believe probate court will protect their rights without the help of an experienced Cleveland probate attorney.
Typically, if things are acrimonious at the earliest stage of the process, siblings and family members will not resolve those issues during estate settlement. Seeking the help of an experienced estate litigation law firm in Cleveland can both protect your rights and limit the kind of emotional disagreements with family members that can result in long-term damage to your relationships.
Attorney Daniel McGowan has many years of experience in handling some of the country’s largest inheritance disputes.
A will or trust can be challenged by an attorney in an Ohio probate proceeding on a number of grounds.
If you believe that you or a loved one may have been improperly cut out of a will or otherwise deprived of a rightful inheritance, or you have questions about a will contest, trust or estate, please call the Ohio probate lawyer Daniel McGowan at (216) 242-6054 for a consultation. The initial call is free.