Addressing Complex Probate And Estate Planning Considerations

Estate law is a delicate mix of several different legal, family and financial issues. Depending on the estate, it can be a modest matter that goes quickly through an expedited "release from administration," or a complicated trust that encompasses a long list of assets, bank accounts and businesses. Often, it is for a young family that needs to draw up a will once there are children to consider.

At Hurley Gunsher, Ltd., our estate planning and probate guidance is handled by partner Joshua Gunsher. He has passionately dedicated his legal career to this area of law since clerking as an intern for probate court in Butler County, Ohio. He continued his work there after passing the bar as a staff attorney and subsequently carried on as a lawyer in private practice.

This legal background is balanced with the empathetic understanding of what individuals and families are going through during probate, or if there are complications in administering the estate. Often a steady and knowledgeable attorney can make a complicated process go more smoothly, particularly when the will or trust is contested or other disputes need to resolved.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process where the will is administered by probate court following the death of an individual (decedent). This happens regardless of whether there is a valid will or not and can only be avoided by using a trust. If a will does not designate someone to administer the estate, the court assigns a personal representative.

This person must:

  • Assemble the decedent's assets
  • Pay bills, including funeral expenses, debts and taxes
  • Collect any outstanding debts
  • Dispense any assets left over

Estate Law Planning And Administration

Estate law covers a wide range of services for those who are drafting an estate plan and those who are administering an estate plan. A thoughtful estate plan can be a tremendous comfort to surviving loved ones, even giving closure with this final thoughtful gesture. If done correctly, it puts less strain on those who administer the estate plan, reduces taxes owed and generally helps the process go more smoothly.

Estate Law Tools

Here are a few important tools briefly explained:

  • Will: Not only does this determine who gets what assets, it also states who will care for children if they are minors, who has power of attorney, and other matters unique to you and your family.
  • Living will and power of attorney: This gives someone else power to make decisions involving your health care directives (living will) and to make financial decisions on your behalf (power of attorney).
  • Revocable and irrevocable trust: This is used to protect the future financial stability of heirs. Irrevocable trusts cannot be altered, while a revocable trust can be changed as circumstances change.
  • Probate litigation: This can involve a dispute where the will is contested or there is a breach of fiduciary duty where the trustee or executor is not carrying out their duties.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Estate Law And Probate Concerns

Call our offices in Middletown or Fairfield at 513-318-9893 to make an appointment with estate planning attorney Joshua Gunsher. All initial consultations over the phone are free. We can also be reached through the Contact page of this website.