Estate Administration and Probate Attorney

Helping Clients in Springboro, Centerville and Dayton Ohio

When an Ohio resident passes away, the property and assets of the deceased person are subject to specific legal requirements relating to administration of the estate. Probate attorney Jonathan Turner helps family members, loved ones, executors, and other personal representatives determine the appropriate legal process and complete all the necessary steps to settle the estate. When an estate includes a trust, Jon also assists personal representatives and trustees with trust administration.

Efficient, Reliable Estate Administration Services

In advising clients on estate administration, Ohio probate attorney Jon Turner provides personalized services based on the circumstances of the estate. His personable approach and calming manner immediately make clients comfortable. He is an attentive listener who always answers questions promptly. Jon always carries as much of the estate administration burden as possible, to enable family members and loved ones to focus on grieving their loss rather than worrying about the legal requirements for the estate.

Jon begins by learning all the circumstances concerning the estate, including the nature of the property in the estate and whether there are estate documents, including a will. He helps determine who should apply for appointment as the personal representative for the estate and what legal process estate administration must follow.

When a personal representative retains Jon to assist with estate administration, he establishes a close working relationship with the client and communicates effectively and thoroughly throughout the process. Jon always addresses concerns and issues that arise and makes certain that the client understands every step in the process.

Estate Administration in Ohio

The Ohio legal process required for a specific estate depends primarily on the nature of the assets in the estate and on whether the deceased person had a valid will. Probate is a court-supervised full administration process that is required for many estates, although some estates do not need to go through the probate process or may be able to complete an abbreviated process.

If there is a valid will, the executor named in the will has legal priority to admit the will to probate and request letters testamentary from the probate court, which begins the estate administration process. If the deceased person did not have a will, or a named executor cannot or does not wish to serve, state law provides that the probate court may issue letters of administration to a suitable person, as specified in the statutes. After issuance of letters by the court, the executor or administrator, also referred to as the fiduciary of the estate, follows the legal process for settling the estate.

Assets in an estate are categorized as either probate assets or non-probate assets. Probate assets include real and personal property that pass to beneficiaries under a will or, if there is no will, heirs who receive under the laws of intestate succession. Generally, non-probate assets include:

  • Property that is jointly owned, with a right of survivorship in the co-owner(s)
  • Assets placed in a properly established living trust prior to death
  • Accounts or policies with named beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and other retirement accounts
  • Pay-on-death (POD) and transfer-on-death (TOD) accounts or property

If there are any probate assets in an estate, the estate must go through full administration and the probate process, unless the estate qualifies for one of two abbreviated procedures: release from administration or summary release from administration.

The Probate Process

The Ohio probate process for full administration of an estate includes detailed procedures and timelines that must be met throughout the process. The fiduciary is legally responsible for handling probate and has specific fiduciary duties under Ohio law. Failure to perform those duties may result in liability for mishandling the fiduciary responsibilities. In most cases, an executor or administrator should enlist help from an experienced probate lawyer to ensure they properly complete all steps of probate and estate administration.

The probate process begins with an application to admit the will to probate or, if there is no will, authority to administer the estate. After court appointment of an executor or administrator for the estate, the fiduciary follows these steps to complete probate, in compliance with detailed procedures established by state law and the probate court:

  • Collection and valuation of property and assets (including professional appraisals if necessary)
  • Creation of an inventory of the property and assets (filed with the court)
  • Identification of debts and payment of debts and expenses
  • Completion and filing federal and state tax returns and payment of tax
  • Distribution of property to the beneficiaries or heirs
  • Closing the estate by filing a final account or certificate of termination with the court

As a probate attorney, Jon Turner works closely with the fiduciary to follow the full administration procedure and complete the process as required within the time limitations. He keeps the client fully involved and informed throughout the process, always answering questions and addressing concerns promptly.

Trust Administration

If an estate includes a trust, Jon Turner can assist the trustee with all the tasks that accompany trust administration, which includes reviewing all documents and ensuring that assets are properly transferred and titled, as well as preparing accurate accountings. He works closely with the trustee, providing counsel and advice as necessary, to make certain the trust is set up and implemented according to the terms in the trust document.

Legal representation in the trust administration process is beneficial to the trustee in several ways. Jon’s knowledgeable guidance ensures compliance with all applicable state laws, makes certain the trustee fulfills all fiduciary duties, and protects the trustee from liability, including minimizing the statute of limitations period.

Talk with Springboro Probate Attorney Jon Turner

Jonathan C. Turner Law Office is conveniently located in Springboro, Ohio. Jon welcomes inquiries about estate administration, probate, and trust administration from residents in Springboro and neighboring communities in Warren, Butler, and Montgomery Counties, including Centerville, Dayton, Franklin, Kettering, Lebanon, and Miamisburg. To schedule a consultation, please call 937-790-WILL or 937-790-9455, or use the online scheduling form.