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Compassionate, Skillful Estate Administration Lawyers

Addressing probate issues in Lebanon, Ohio

Estate administration is one of the most challenging and complex areas of law, and unfortunately typically arises from the death of a loved one. Estate administrators are suddenly confronted with a probate process for which they may lack the skills and the emotional wherewithal. Because of the numerous and complex fiduciary duties relating to debts, assets, kinship, interpretation of wills and trust documents, taxes and other issues, estate administration by a fiduciary should be done in cooperation with an attorney who has a strong focus in this field and years of proven experience. At Ernst & Associates our well-accomplished estate administration attorneys can offer reputable and careful legal guidance in this area. We provide solid professional advice by experienced probate lawyers who have served hundreds of families in probate cases throughout southwest Ohio for more than 25 years.

Discover how probate works

The Probate Court is responsible for ensuring that the decedent’s assets are collected and distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries as dictated by the decedent’s will or trust instrument. The Probate Court appoints a fiduciary who is empowered 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 locating them
  • Following the probate court’s instructions for distributing the estate assets to the heirs and beneficiaries
  • Preparing and filing estate tax returns, and paying taxes, if necessary

The distribution of the estate is determined by the terms of any will or trust left by the decedent. If the person died intestate (without a will), then distribution is determined by statute.

Additional estate planning services

Our firm handles all aspects of estate planning and administration. Our dedicated staff of last will attorneys prepares last wills to your explicit requirements, and our living will lawyers can draft the kind of document that protects your dignity and final wishes with regard to your medical care, should you become incapacitated. Other services provided by Ernst & Associates to clients in West Chester, Mason, Lebanon and southwestern Ohio include designing guardianship for minors or special needs individuals and drawing up of trusts, including special needs trusts. Our guardianship lawyers provide sound legal advice on whether or not guardianship is appropriate and how best to secure it. We have an experienced group of trust attorneys who can advise you of the benefits of a trust for your beneficiaries. Sometimes probate matters require a power of attorney, and our attorneys can assist you in drafting such a document should you need it.

Contact a compassionate, professional probate firm

After the death of a loved one, you want the compassion, understanding and experience of Ernst & Associates. Our small but dedicated law firm provides the personal service not often found at large impersonal firms. Contact us online or by telephone at 513-268-0738 so we can help you in this difficult time.