Akron Probate Lawyer 
Ron Koehler

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Estate Planning

Ron can create an estate plan that will bring you peace of mind.  Here is information on some estate planning services:

Simple Will.  A will names an executor who will oversee your estate, and names beneficiaries who will receive the assets in your estate.  Without a will, the law of the state you reside in when you die will determine who will receive your estate.

Living trust.  A living trust accomplishes what a will does, but allows you to avoid probate as the trust is administered.  This provides for privacy, since the assets in your estate won’t be listed in a public Probate Court website.  Avoiding probate also means avoiding the court costs, attorney fees and fiduciary fees that come with the probate administration.  Lastly, trust administration can be done much more quickly than probate, which has built-in delays to allow unhappy next-of-kin to contest the will, for creditors to file claims against the estate. 

Joint Survivorship Deed.  This is a tool used to keep real estate out of probate, especially useful for married couples who own their home.  Often we find that married couples received title to their home jointly, but without a right of survivorship.  The solution is to prepare a new deed, by which the couple transfers the property to themselves, with a right of survivorship.  Then, upon the death of one of them, the survivor automatically becomes the owner of the home.  This fact is documented with an Affidavit of Survivorship, without going through probate.

Transfer on Death Affidavit.  This is another tool used to keep real estate out of probate. Transfer on death allows an owner of real estate to name one or more beneficiaries who will become owners after the current owner dies.  This tool is more commonly used for a single or widowed person to transfer real estate to children or other beneficiaries.  After the original owner’s death, an Affidavit of Survivorship is recorded, so the property transfers without going through probate.

Financial Durable Power of Attorney.  This document is a very useful tool that allows a person to name somebody they trust who will be authorized to handle all aspects of the person’s finances.  It is most useful to avoid the necessity of a guardianship, which is a process by which Probate Court names a person who will control the finances of a person who is unable to handle his own finances.

Health Care Power of Attorney & Living Will.  These documents allow you to now decide what medical measures will be taken at the end of your life.  The health care power of attorney allows you to choose a person who will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t communicate with your doctor.  The living will states what your wishes are, and allows you to refuse medical procedures which will merely prolong the dying process, while assuring that you receive appropriate pain management. 

Estate Administration.  This is the process by which a person’s debts are paid, and assets are transferred to their heirs.  The process is administered through Probate Court and involves the filing of many forms, and the following of procedures set out in Ohio law.  It is important to have the assistance of an experienced attorney who knows probate law.  Ron has administered estates in Summit, Stark, Portage, Medina, Wayne, Geauga, Ashtabula, Lake, Tuscarawas, Carroll, Mahoning, Columbiana, Franklin and Marion counties of Ohio.