Canton Wills & Probate Lawyer Helps to Preserve and Transfer Assets
Ohio firm advises on drafting wills and distributing decedents’ property
Deciding how you want your estate to be divided and carrying out the instructions of a recently deceased loved one can be tough tasks. My Canton law firm, Douglas D. Jones Co., LPA relieves the burden on Ohio clients in all types of matters relating to wills and probate issues. Whether it’s planning for your family’s future, executing a loved one’s will or working through the probate process, I rely on 40 years of experience to deliver skillful, compassionate counsel tailored to your particular values and goals.
Insightful attorney provides strategic counsel on testamentary documents
When someone dies without a will, the property they’ve accumulated over a lifetime is allocated not based on their wishes, but the state’s intestacy laws. This means that people with a given familial relationship are entitled to a share of the decedent’s assets even if they were not particularly fond of each other. By establishing a valid will, you get to decide what your legacy will be and who should be beneficiaries. Along with other estate planning options such as trust and guardianship documents, my firm uses wills to help people give legal force to their intentions regarding asset allocation.
Dedicated advocate guides clients through each stage of the probate process
Following the death of someone close to you, it can be difficult to understand the scope of estate administration responsibilities. My firm works closely with executors and administrators to develop a thorough strategy that can help them move through the Ohio probate system efficiently. At the outset, it’s important to remember that not every asset is transferred through the probate court. Life insurance proceeds, jointly held accounts, assets in certain trusts and real estate held with a designation affidavit that automatically shifts ownership upon the owner’s death are not included within the estate.
For the property that is distributed through the probate system, I assist estate representatives with key tasks, including:
- Filing the will — In some instances, small estates can avoid probate and be settled through a Release from Administration. If a will exists, it can be filed for record-keeping purposes. When estate assets exceed $35,000 ($100,000 if everything is going to a surviving spouse), I file the will in probate court and obtain Letters of Authority.
- Locating beneficiaries and gathering assets — It can be difficult to find heirs named in a will or beneficiaries entitled to a distribution through the state’s intestacy laws. As a seasoned attorney, I deal with these issues and work to bring assets that were in the decedent’s name into the estate.
- Opening accounts and creating a property inventory — To make sure that the value of the estate is preserved, my firm opens a bank account to hold assets during the probate process and prepares a detailed property inventory to keep track of funds, property and debts.
- Managing taxes and other estate expenses — Formal probate can run for six months or longer, and expenses such as property taxes don’t stop during that period. When executors or administrators seek assistance with estate financial obligations, my firm is here for them.
- Liquidating the estate — Once any claims, debts or disputes have been resolved and the court authorizes distribution of the estate assets, I guide executors as they shift ownership of each item to its intended beneficiary without unnecessary hassle or delay.
Whatever challenges you face during estate administration, my firm gives you the cost-effective support you need to fulfill your duties in an appropriate manner.
Contact a strategic Canton wills and probate lawyer for a free consultation
Douglas D. Jones Co., LPA provides comprehensive counsel to northeast Ohio clients on wills and probate matters. My office is in Canton and you can call 330-649-2372 or contact me online to schedule a free initial consultation.