Probate

When you lose a loved one, you may be faced with the additional burden of ensuring that the estate is properly administered and that the wishes of your loved one are executed. At the Law Offices of Stephen J. Ball, our probate and trust administration practice is focused on protecting the financial and legal rights of our clients through the estate administration process, including probate and tax compliance.

We use strategy to help you explore your options, identify solutions and work toward effective and efficient results in your case. Our probate and estate administration practice includes:

Probate: In the event of the death of a loved one who has left behind assets, probate may be necessary. There are many different ways of administering a probate estate. Probate provides court oversight to ensure that a decedent’s assets are distributed to the proper heirs (if the loved one died without a will) or beneficiaries (if the loved one died with a will) in an orderly process, after all claims against the decedent’s estate have been taken care of. Because we specialize in this area of the law, we are able to identify the most efficient and cost-effective way to accomplish each step of the process, from obtaining initial letters of authority to filing the final account. We are also familiar with the local rules and regulations of the various probate courts, which vary from county to county. Whether you are the nominated personal representative, family member, or beneficiary, you will likely need representation. Mr. Ball represents clients in every probate matter.

Trust administration: We assist with all aspects of trust administration to ensure that the trustee complies with the Ohio Trust Code, providing beneficiaries with required notice and documentation. With testamentary trusts, which are subject to the jurisdiction of the probate court, we also assist in the preparation and filing of annual accounts and other reports required by the court.

Tax compliance: Many probate lawyers rely on outside tax advisors to handle post-mortem tax planning and compliance issues. This not only increases inefficiency in the administration process, but it often results in miscommunication, missed deductions and mistakes. At the Law Offices of Stephen J. Ball, we have the expertise and experience to handle all tax matters ourselves, including federal estate tax returns and complicated fiduciary income tax returns. This results in greater efficiency, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness for our clients.

Post-mortem tax planning: We have extensive experience in the use of qualified disclaimers and other post-mortem tax saving strategies that can prevent unnecessary tax obligations even after the death of a loved one. We will take a comprehensive approach to your case by thoroughly analyzing all possible tax scenarios to arrive at the solution that results in the lowest overall tax liability.

Guardianships: If your minor child receives an inheritance, or if you have an elderly parent who is no longer able to handle his or her affairs, we can help you set up a guardianship. Once the guardianship is established and the court has appointed you as guardian, we can continue to assist you in preparing and filing necessary accounts and reports.

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