Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts), Probate, Real Estate and Business Law Firm with Offices in Hudson, Ohio, Fairview Park, Ohio, and Brecksville, Ohio

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Probate Avoidance

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Probate Avoidance

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Avoiding Probate Court (aka probate avoidance) is one of the biggest goals in most estate plans. Probate court is a division of each county court in Ohio, including Cuyahoga County Probate Court, Summit County Probate Court and Medina County Probate Court, where we practice regularly. These Cleveland and Akron area probate courts have jurisdiction over probate estates in their counties.

Probate Court is a process which involves the following main tasks:

1. Appointing an Executor;
2. Taking control of all of the decedent’s assets;
3. Ensuring all known debts and taxes are paid;
4. Appointing Guardians for minor childredn;
5. Distributing the rest of the decedent’s assets to his/her heirs.

The probate process is problematic and avoiding probate is important for the following reasons. It is stressful. It is in the court house, in front of magistrates and judges. The hours are Monday through Friday during normal business hours, so you will need to miss work to attend hearings. It usually takes at least 6 months, and in many cases, it takes much longer. It is all part of a public record, which means all of the decedent’s personal financial information will be made available to the public. This is not only a violation of their privacy, but invites claims from creditors and predators. And last, but certainly not least, it is extremely expensive. Both the executor and the attorney are entitled to compensation for their services. The compensation schedule is set by statute and starts at 4% of the first $100,000 dollars for the executor, and another 4% for the attorney! That’s $8,000 in fees for the first $100,000 in the estate! That’s crazy! Especially when you consider the cost of an estate plan to avoid probate will generally cost much less than that.

The good news is, probate court is totally avoidable with a probate avoidance trust. Probate avoidance is just one of many goals in estate planning, to see more information like this, read this informative page on Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning. Call us today to get your probate avoidance trust in place!

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