- Estate Planning & Probate
- Wills and Trusts
- Advanced Directives
- Tax Efficient Planning
- Probate Administration
- Corporations & Businesses
- Business Entity Creation
- Planning, advising & compliance
- Management representation
- Employee Benefits
Our goal is to meet your needs, to assure you that the assets, you have worked hard and diligently to acquire, are efficiently used for the benefit of those persons and institutions that are most important to you.
We are knowledgeable about effective estate planning methods and techniques, from the simplest wills to very complex and tax-efficient trusts.
We make it a practice to regularly communicate with our clients to understand their specific circumstances both now, and in the future. Frequent review of your estate plan is encouraged to ensure the documents still accomplish your plans and goals under the current law.
A last will and testament is an essential part of any estate plan. It is a written document, executed according to applicable state law, which specifies, upon your death, who will manage your affairs, who will to receive your estate; who will care for your minor children (if any). It may also provide additional instructions pertaining to your affairs.
For many persons, a trust is a necessary complement to a last will and testament. A trust can minimize the time, expense, and publicity of probate. It is the best method to provide for children and other beneficiaries with special needs; and, protect young and impressionable beneficiaries from financial predators. A trust is a near necessity when real estate is owned in more than one state. In addition, a properly funded trust can help to minimize estate taxes.
If you are unable to make your own health care decisions, a health care power of attorney (HCPOA), a designation of personal representative, and a living will can ease the emotional burdens faced by you and your loved ones.
The HCPOA provides your designated decision-maker the authority to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. The designation of personal representative authorizes your personal representative to obtain your medical records.
The living will only takes effect in end-of-life situations. A living will is an advance directive which states your decisions regarding the extent and effort of medical treatment to prolong your life, if you are unable to communicate such intentions. The living will can ease the distress of your loved ones at that most emotional time.
Our estate planning attorneys have saved our clients many millions of dollars in estate taxes over the years. We maintain a current estate and gift tax knowledge base, coupled with extensive experience in the preparation of estate, trust, and gift tax returns, both state (Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana) and federal.
So, whether our clients have large estates, complex situations, young families, or modest means, our attorneys will apply strategic, sophisticated, and sound tax planning, with the objective of saving estate taxes for our clients and their heirs, through the use of appropriate estate planning techniques.
Probate is the legal process through which the will is validated; the assets of the deceased are valued; debts, creditor claims and taxes are paid; and, the remaining assets are distributed per the terms of the will or under the applicable law.
Our attorneys have great breadth and depth of experience in guiding an estate’s executor, or administrator, with filing the will in Probate Court, complying with his or her legal duties, evaluating creditors’ claims, dealing with heirs and next of kin, preparation of required estate tax and fiduciary income tax returns, and assisting with tax planning opportunities that may arise. We are also experienced in representing estates for will contests and other contested matters.
Guardianships are established and overseen by the probate court to protect both the financial affairs, and ensure the personal care, of those who are unable, because of youth, age or infirmity, to protect or take care of their own affairs or self.
Family members, or other interested persons, can ask the court to establish a guardianship to protect someone who appears to be lacking ability to do so for him or herself and is therefore “incompetent.”
Once appointed, a guardian is accountable to the probate court for providing proper care and management of the ward’s affairs in that ward’s best interest.
We will help establish guardianships, prepare court required annual accounts, and provide guardians with the necessary guidance.