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Questions Answered by Aaron Epling
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My brother passed away in June 2020 without a will. how do I get rid of his car that doesn’t work?

His father paid for the funeral. The county courthouse gave us info that his father can fill out paperwork to take ownership of the vehicle but he refuses to do so since he believes it’s not his responsibility. Communication is not an option. What steps can I take to dispose of the inoperable... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Oct 3, 2022

If you don't want it, then have it towed. Eventually the towing company will sell it to pay for storage fees.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: Can the executor of an estate be from another state? Can the holder of a POA be from another state?
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Sep 29, 2022

Yes, Ohio law allows out of state executors in many circumstances. And, an agent under a POA may live out of state.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: In OH, can a Trustee withhold money, claiming it is an “advancement” of a beneficiary’s inheritance without evidence?

Nothing in the Will or Trust speaks to any such “advancement” nor are there any signed loan paperwork, or repayment schedules, nor is anything written on any of the Grantor’s check’s signifying check as an advancement or loan. Trustee only claims the Grantor said to withhold this... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Sep 28, 2022

This has some serious family drama issues. Can a Grantor verbally amend a trust? Yes under certain circumstances. But the issue is whether this actually happened. Get a lawyer!

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: In OH, can a Trustee condition receiving a Receipt & Release from beneficiaries prior to final Estate distribution?
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Sep 26, 2022

R.C. 5808.17(C): A release by a beneficiary of a trustee from liability for breach of trust is invalid to the extent that it was induced by improper conduct of the trustee or that the beneficiary, at the time of the release, did not know of the beneficiary's rights or of the material facts... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: I have been named as the trustee in my brother's 2008 Ohio will. He and his wife divorced in 2020. He passed last week.

My brother died last week. We though he had no will. We found one today. His only son, my nephew is 16 and the will states that he leaves everything to him. His ex-wife has hired an attorney. My brother left his son some jewelry and some silver coins. His home loan was maxed out and the house needs... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Aug 22, 2022

Sorry for your loss. First, you are under no obligation to do anything. But, I would probably wait 6 months (the Ohio statute of limitations for unsecured creditor claims) and then file for a release from administration to transfer the automobile title to his son. And, yes, you may waive your right... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: How do I as executor of old estate case (2006) close unfinished items when original lawyer does not respond to queries?
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Aug 18, 2022

You should probably reach out to another probate attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Probate for Ohio on
Q: How can I get access to my incapacitated mother's safety deposit Box

My mother had a stroke a few months ago and she gave me power of attorney but she didn't print her name and I had to get an updated one I did but since then she had an aneurysm and can't speak or talk And the bank wants to call up to the rehabilitation hospital she is in Right now i... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Aug 10, 2022

If the bank will not allow access under the power of attorney, then you will need to establish a guardianship and be appointed guardian of the estate by the probate court.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Banking and Probate for Ohio on
Q: My wife is the sole heir to her Mom's house, We are planning on moving into it, There is a Mortgage owed.

We are going to pay it off but what rights are there to include her name on the loan so the bank will have to answer her questions and give her details. Her will states that all assets go to her once the estate is settled in October. I understand that the Garn-St. Germain act prevents them from... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Aug 10, 2022

It is very likely that your mother-in-law's mortgage has an acceleration clause. This makes the entire balance due upon the death of the borrower. A surviving spouse has some rights with respect to assuming the loan. But, I'm not aware of any rights that a child has. In other words, you... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Collections for Ohio on
Q: My dad passed away a year ago, what happens if i stop paying for his storage unit.

I have been paying for the units for over a year but they are not in my name nor did i sign any rental agreement i just took over payments. I have full access to the account. Will it hurt my credit or go to collections for me if i just stop paying for them

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Jul 29, 2022

If you're not a party to the contract with the storage unit company, then I don't believe you can be held liable under any of its terms.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: My sister is in my mom's will to inherit the house. Can the bank take the house from her to pay off the mortgage?

My mother lives in Ohio and her will says that all debts should be paid on her death. Does this mean paying off the mortgage before my sister can have it?

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Jul 25, 2022

Your sister will inherit the house subject to the mortgage. The mortgage accelerates upon the death of your mother, so the entire balance will be due. If your sister doesn't want the bank to foreclose on the mortgage, she will need to find a way to pay off the mortgage.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: Am I able to cash a check sent to my sister who's deceased?

My sister passed away unexpectedly with no will. I currently have custody of her son and the father isn't in the picture. Her car was her only possession and she had a loan on it. They repossessed the vehicle and sold it to satisfy the loan. I received a letter stating there was a negative... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Jul 18, 2022

You will need to be appointed administrator of her estate so that you can open a bank account to deposit the check into. If the check is under $500, I wouldn't bother with it.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: My mother passed away 10 years ago with no estate. Is it too late to be appointed representative to get her tax records?

She passed away with no estate or will and no one was ever appointed personal representative. I recently found out her employer owed her alot of money and I would like to look into it. What can i do? I would like to get her IRS transcripts before it's too late. They will only have her records... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Jun 30, 2022

In Ohio, an administrator or executor could still be appointed and may have the authority to obtain records. Whether the IRS still has them is another issue. Also, the cost may outweigh any benefit. Even if you're digging for evidence to mount a lawsuit against an estate beneficiary, many... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: Can I use an attachment to my Living Trust to list my beneficiaries (26 nieces & nephews)?

It's a revocable living trust.

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Jun 1, 2022

You may amend your revocable living trust by a document signed by you. Keep in mind that each word matters, so be careful.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: My MIL died without a Will in Ohio. She owned her house out right. How can we transfer the title to her son?
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on May 23, 2022

Yes. Depending on the county, go to the county probate court's website and look for forms for a "Real Estate Only" transfer. You can do this yourself with a little work.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: Can the executor of a will take all cash out of deceased accounts and not report it when filing will for probate.
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Apr 28, 2022

Depends. If the executor is also a joint owner or a beneficiary on those accounts, then YES. If the accounts are in the decedent's name and no beneficiary or joint owner exists, then NO.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: In Ohio, can an out of state person be an executor of an estate? Also, what are waiver of notice probate of will docs?

I was told I could not be executor of my parents estate because I reside out of state. Is that a nice to have condition or a need to have requirement. Also, I was sent a waiver of notice of probate of will from my brother without explanation to sign. Why should I sign this document. Did not... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Apr 20, 2022

If your parents named you as executor in their wills, then you probably can act as executor. If they don't have wills, then you cannot. (R.C. 2109.21) It looks like your brother is moving forward with opening the estate. If this is something you would rather do, then you better get an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: what does it mean on my parents durable power of attorney 'jointly but not severally'
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Apr 19, 2022

Depends where it's written. If it's giving power to multiple people, then they may have to act in unison, rather than independently.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: How to get access to safe deposit box of deceased mother?

What do I need to do legally to access the safe deposit box of my mother, who lived and died in New York, but apparently still has a safe deposit box in her name in Ohio? She died 15 years ago, I am only surviving family member. There was no will and no assets beyond funeral expenses.

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Apr 19, 2022

You may have to open probate in New York to get an executor appointed who would have authority to go to the bank and remove the assets. If you just want to find out whether anything is in the safe deposit box, then Ohio has a mechanism to allow access for the purposes of creating an inventory of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: What exactly is. Ohio Uniform Principal and Income Act, O.R.C. 5812
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Mar 28, 2022

Try here:

https://www.ohioprobatelawyer.com/trusts/2018/07/27/difference-between-taxable-income-and-accounting-income/#:~:text=Ohio%2C%20like%20most%20states%2C%20has%20adopted%20the%20Uniform,on%20accounting%20income%20are%20also%20allocated%20to%20income.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: My brother and I who are both veterans are getting ready to buy a home together... i have been his caregiver for over 40

years. And am also over his healthcare. We plan on holding our property undivided half interest, fee simple, with right of survivorship... now our sister has a power of attorney he granted her about 12 years ago. Will she be able to sell his interest or otherwise intervene in our property?

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
answered on Mar 28, 2022

Yes! She can sell his interest in the house. That's what a POA is for. I suggest getting a new POA that specifically revokes the prior POA and recording it in the county in which the house sits. This will show up in a title search if the sister later tries to use her POA to sell the house.

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