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Questions Answered by Aaron Epling
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: As the Successor trustee to a Revocable Trust, all assets are distributed, the balance is zero. What is my next step?
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 25, 2022

Assuming assets were properly distributed, does the trust need to file a tax return? If not, then you may be finished. I'd send a letter to the beneficiaries indicating that the trust has been wrapped up.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: My mom passed in 2018. Can I get the money left in the bank
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 25, 2022

I agree with the first answer. Additionally, Ohio law has an "express lane" through probate if the account is under $35k called "release from administration." Some people do this on their own. Some hire attorneys.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: I want to know can someone be named the next of kin if they have blood relatives that are still alive?

My aunt passed away, and she doesn’t have any children, she was divorced, and her parents have passed on. I assumed that the next of kin would be the next blood relative, which would be my mother, because my mother is the oldest sibling. The hospital that my aunt passed at stated that another... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 7, 2022

Your aunt's biological sibling(s) are the next of kin. The next of kin have authority to plan funeral arrangements.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My husband passed away 12/2021. I am named beneficiary in the Will. Do I need to go to probate court?

also as a family we have 5 cars and 1 boat all of which where in his name. can I transfer titles with out probate court

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 6, 2022

Take the titles to the automobile title office. They can transfer some or all. If they can't transfer all, then find an attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: If one files a Will under full admin. probate then learns the estate actually qualifies for small estate can you refile.

submitted application under Full Administration because The Court Clerk notify me the system was advising people to use E-File system. They required you to file 4.0 in Cuyahoga County if you have a Will naming you the executor.

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Nov 9, 2021

If you have been appointed executor/administrator, then I believe you'll have to complete the administration by filing a certificate of termination or final account.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Business Law for Ohio on
Q: My wife owned a cemetery plot and passed without a will. Does it go to me?

My wife owned a cemetery plot and passed without a will. She had three children from a previous marriage but paid for the plot while we were married. As her next of kin, do I now own that plot?

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Nov 1, 2021

Call the cemetery and ask them. Sometimes, cemetery plots will pass under cemetery rules. Even if it has to go through probate, you will probably be able to get it.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: Mom died with no will younger brother won’t fill out bond paperwork. Are there other options for an executor?

Can older sibling and I ask for a neutral executor since younger brother won’t fill out and file bond paperwork?

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Oct 20, 2021

You don't even need a neutral executor. You should just apply to administer the estate. This will force your younger brother to act and, if he doesn't, then you can act as administrator.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: So my stepgrandmother got the property when my grandfather died and my dad has been living there for over 30 years

Now she is trying to kick them out because they are only the step kids but my grandpa's wishes was for them to stay on the property and it be divided between the kids after she dies but she's trying to kick them out is there something he can do

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Oct 19, 2021

Very sorry to hear about this. I suspect your grandfather did not give legal effect to his intent, so your options are limited. It's worth talking to an attorney about, but you should keep your expectations low.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My brother died without a proper will and his assets are very small. Can we settle his small estate without a lawyer?

He has a small house. 2 children who loathe each other.

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Oct 5, 2021

If the two children don't like one another, then you should get an administrator appointed to sell the house and split the proceeds. Are you (the administrator) required to have an attorney? No. Should you? Unless you are a probate attorney in Ohio, then yes. The beneficiaries could sue you if... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: My husband said if he passes with no will, I only receive 1/3 of the estate etc? Why would this be?

My husband is the only name listed on the deed for our property. He has 2 children, never was married to their mother, the mother has had custody of them, they've lived out of state about half of their minor lives, they are both over 18 at this point and have had 0 contact with him for many... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Sep 14, 2021

If that's not what he wants, then you need to get this done ASAP. Each issue you bring up can be quickly resolved.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: Our attorney in Ohio just sent us a $48,000 bill for settling my brother's estate. looks excessive. do i have recourse?

The estate is around $800,000. It has been over a year and a half and according to him it is still not settled!

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Sep 13, 2021

You can't simply base whether the fee is reasonable on the amount of the fee vs. the total estate. Was the executor involved in litigation or any other controversies? Does this court have a local rule allowing the attorney a percentage of the assets? Was the attorney acting as executor?

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: How can I keep my deceased Mother's house from being taken by Medicaid Estate Recovery in Ohio?

My wife, kids, and I live in my Mother's house. She passed away in April 2021 without a will and probate hasn't been started yet. We received a letter from the Ohio Attorney General stating that she owes $74,000 for Medicaid Estate Recovery. I'm assuming they'll put a lien on... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Sep 7, 2021

This is a very good question. If you are disabled, then you may be able to stay in the house. If not, then another option is to negotiate with Medicaid and they may take a lower amount in exchange for not having to foreclose. Either way, you should probably get an experienced attorney involved who... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: Do I need a lawyer if im the closest living relative and my dads house is morgaged out and the car is a lease.

No will just tools and household goods. No life insurance. Im selling his things to pay for funeral and burial.

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Aug 26, 2021

Going through probate just for tools and household goods is rarely done in practice. If he has creditors, then talk to an attorney because they could be upset at you for selling the items and not giving them the money. If not, then I can't think of anybody else who could file a good claim... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: Should my sister sign a waiver giving permission for her uncle to handle his late brother's estate

My sister is a part of that estate

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Aug 5, 2021

It's hard to "un-sign" a waiver. So, I suggest she talk to counsel first.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My mother gave me her home before she passed. As next of kin and owner do I own the contents of the home?

Her trust is still in probate so I wasn’t sure if I could move furniture out. Nobody in the family wants it.

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Aug 2, 2021

The contents of the home and the home itself are separate. The home passed outside of probate and the contents pass through probate unless some mechanism was used so the contents could avoid probate...like a trust. If the estate is open, then contact the administrator/executor, preferably their... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: Can the sole executor of a will add a family member to the estate to refinance a property in the estate?
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jul 15, 2021

This leaves a number of questions unanswered. You should seek counsel.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: If someone inherits a home and all heirs agree do we have to wait til probate to evict tenants so we can move in?

He has a copy of the will leaving the home to him. Can we use that to start the eviction process on the tenants? They are nice ppl and have lived there a few years. We gave them 3 mths but at the end of the 3 mths we dont want to have to wait another couple mths to evict if they dont move. We are... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on May 10, 2021

It's easy to transfer the property out of the decedent's name and into the names of the heirs. Then, you won't have any issues with the probate court when you file eviction. Generally, unless a will says otherwise, an administrator (executor) needs special permission from the court... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: A final accounting of assets, etc. has been filed. I had to sign an agreement to this. Will I receive a check?
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Mar 15, 2021

Beneficiaries do not "have" to sign anything in Ohio. But, if the accounting says that you are getting a distribution, then you should expect one. You may want to talk to an attorney if the final account was filed a while ago; maybe even the estate's attorney. Typically, the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Civil Litigation for Ohio on
Q: What's the statute of limitations on retrieving a loved ones belongings given away by a significant other?

In 92 my dad got sick at another woman's home he had been cheating on his girlfriend with. His girlfriend in anger gave away or sold the things he treasured most. At the time I didn't know she had no right to give them away or sell them. The items were a 57 Cadillac eldorado convertible... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Mar 8, 2021

In theory...maybe. Practically speaking, this is going to be very difficult to do. You'll want a lawyer on this.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: My Dad passed away and I am a beneficiary of his trust. I would like to know if this information below is even legal.

This information is in the trust. Is this even legal?

If the acting Trustee hereunder is either JOHN DOE or JANE DOE, then the beneficiaries hereunder shall have no claim against them, except for acts of intentional harm. If a claim is made, or complaint filed against JOHN DOE or JANE DOE,... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Mar 8, 2021

I'm not sure what you're asking. You should probably call an attorney in your area.

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