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Dayton, Ohio Probate and Business Law Blog

Estate planning for special needs child is done through a trust

The parents of a child with special needs will want to implement various safeguards and make certain plans for the child's maximum welfare. Seeing an estate planning attorney who is located in Ohio is an important first step in preparing the special needs plan. The parents will learn all of the information that they did not know, and they will become equipped to understand the importance and meaning of the legal instruments involved. 

At the same time, if there are other children, planning on their behalf must be done also, generally according to typical options available by law.  A key consideration for a child with special needs will be to keep the legal documents supportive of the child's qualifications for Social Security and applicable government benefits. This is best done through a special needs trust. The trust agreement will contain language preserving the right to collect all appropriate benefits.

Estate planning considers retirement funds and their distribution

In Ohio and all other jurisdictions, retirement funds do not usually go through one's probate estate after death. That is because such proceeds are nearly always distributed to specific beneficiaries designated on the retirement plan itself. It is possible to also list an alternate beneficiary to receive the retirement funds if the primary beneficiary predeceases the owner of the fund. The treatment of retirement funds in estate planning is important despite the fact that the funds do not usually pass through the decedent's estate.

The first estate planning mistake that one may make with respect to retirement funds is in failing to list a beneficiary on the retirement papers. This can be an oversight that the owner intended to go back and correct by adding the desired choice. Or, it may be a case where the beneficiary died prior to the death of the retirement fund owner thus leaving a fund with no listed beneficiary. If the fund owner fails to list a replacement, and if there was no alternate beneficiary originally listed, then the funds would default to the decedent's probate estate.

Considerations for including grandchildren in a will

Drafting your will is an exciting and important process. Whether you are writing a new one or revising an existing one, it is fulfilling to know that you have a plan in place to care for your most precious loved ones. For many people creating their estate plan, this includes grandchildren that they wish to leave an inheritance to. Leaving grandkids an inheritance can help them succeed later in life.

There are some important provisions that you should remember to take into account, though. Consider the following three scenarios.

Business law attorney can assist in business formation

Launching a startup business in Ohio is a process that requires an initial cash investment that will get the company started and operating without suffering the limitations of being cash poor. However, even when cash reserves are ample, the business can falter along the developmental track if certain other qualities do not exist.  Initially, the startup will benefit from the input of a business law attorney in establishing the best legal structure for the new entity.

With capital and business legal structure in place, other qualities will likely determine the company's ultimate success. Two vital elements that will fuel a new company's growth are passion and time. A founder or group of owners who are motivated by a reservoir of passion will have the extra edge to keep moving toward the goal without faltering along the way.

3 grounds for challenging a will in probate court

If the contents of a will or outcome of the probate process are surprising to you, you may have suspicions. The probate process can be full of surprises and shocking revelations. You may even have the urge to take your concerns to probate court. It is possible that the will may be invalid.

However, before you file a lawsuit, it is important to understand the legal grounds for challenging a will. Here are some reasons you may want to contest the will in court.

Probate litigation limited by legal grounds

A dispute over a loved one's will generally begins long before the family member dies. Often, old feuds and long-held grudges surface in the emotion of someone's death and the disclosure of the contents of the will. In many cases, the beneficiaries settle out of court or those who bring the dispute decide it is not worth the time and money to go through probate litigation. However, if enough is at stake, interested parties may take the matter as far as it can go to obtain their goals.

Contesting a will is a right reserved for only certain people related to the deceased. These people are known as heirs-at-law because the law entitles them to an inheritance if the deceased left no will. In Ohio and most other states, this includes the surviving spouse and children but may extend to grandchildren and others in some circumstances.

Probate process is initiated in the Aretha Franklin estate

The procedure to start an estate in the probate court after a person's death is generally similar in Ohio and other states. The procedure can be slightly different if the decedent had no will. In either case, the probate court will not get directly involved in the estate's details unless problems arise.  

Questions arose recently in a neighboring state regarding the filing of an estate for Aretha Franklin without a will. Although the papers were filed on the basis that there was no will, the box indicating there is no will was not checked. This leaves it open for speculation that the family is still searching for Aretha's will. That may have been one of the reasons why her four sons and Aretha's attorney met within hours prior to her death to discuss how probate would be handled.

Probate follows generally similar steps for simple estates

The general probate process is similar in all states. The terminology may vary to some extent in the different jurisdictions, creating what looks like divergent laws and procedures. Actually, the general pattern of probate is similar from state to state. At the same time, it is necessary to be familiar with the specific probate laws in one's state, including here in Ohio, to probate an estate most efficiently and in a timely manner.

The first step after the funeral and ceremonial events is for the executor named in the will to go into the county probate court and file the decedent's will. The executor is accompanied by the attorney chosen to assist the executor in getting through the process with success. The executor will receive an oath of office and letters testamentary or their equivalent will be issued.

How to include cryptocurrency in an estate plan

Over the past year or so, the media has given an extraordinary amount of attention to cryptocurrency. Arguably, the most popular form of this currency is bitcoin, but there is also litecoin, ripple and ethereum. Numerous people have invested in this monetary alternative for its privacy and security. 

Since it is so private, it is possible for someone to pass away with a substantial amount of bitcoin only for his or her heirs to never access it. One recent trend in estate planning involves more people incorporating how to divide cryptocurrency assets upon death or incapacity. It is vital for adults to consider all their assets when creating or revising estate plans, including digital assets. 

What is the best estate planning way to exclude a relative?

The strong point of making a will in Ohio and elsewhere is that it gives to the maker the right to control the disposition of estate assets after his or her death. This is no small benefit when one considers that, without a will, the disposition of assets will go by state statute. Without estate planning and a will, one cannot be assured how these matters will be handled. It will not even be certain who will step forth to seek the authority to administer the estate for the intestate decedent.

Many wills follow a standard pattern of leaving everything to the surviving spouse and then to the children. However, on occasion the maker wants to exclude a child or other blood relative from the will. The question arises whether the maker should give $1 dollar or other token bequest to the excluded person.

  • Ohio State Bar Association | Connect.Advance.Succeed
  • Federal Bar Association | ORG Jan 5th 1920
  • Dayton Bar Association 1883
  • Super Lawyers
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