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Questions Answered by Aaron Epling
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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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: In Feb 2021, I received a letter from a financial firm looking for relatives of an uncle who passed in 2015. What now?

My uncle passed in early 2015, divorced for decades with no children and no will. The only direct relatives left are a few cousins, of which I am one. The estate went to probate during that same year with all his assets liquidated to pay outstanding debts. The city took ownership of the house... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Mar 5, 2021

If its already been to probate, then it probably doesn't need to go again. This could be unclaimed funds. But, a court may still be needed to order who the funds are distributed to. This can get complicated. I suggest getting an attorney. If the statements are legit, you can certainly... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My mom passed, only had joint checking with me, only adult child. Is probate needed? She has a small unsecured personal
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Feb 9, 2021

I bet that you're good to go. Take the money from the account and don't talk to any creditors. Creditors can file a claim against the estate, but if the checking account had survivorship rights, then it's unlikely they will get anything. And, in my experience, unsecured creditors... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: Parents died the contents of the home to the estate and the house to my brother can he move in prior to the estate sale?

Brother wants to move into parents house before the estate sale happens. Is that allowed?

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Feb 8, 2021

It depends how title is being transferred...i.e. trust, transfer on death, or will. Generally, title to real estate vests in the heir upon the moment of death. If the will says that your brother gets the house, or if your brother is a beneficiary under a transfer on death instrument, then he may... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: Can we buy our parents house for less than market value and not have a future reprisals?

We want to sell our house, buy my parents house at a lesser than market value, so we can move into the basement and give them the extra care they need. Will the state be able to come back on us and demand the rest of the money in the future? My parents are all for this and named the price he wanted... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 25, 2021

Yes. The difference between the market value and the price you pay is considered a gift. If your parents need to go into a nursing home less than 5 years after the date that they made the gift to you, and if they want Medicaid to pay for it, then they may be disqualified for a period of time.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Foreclosure for Ohio on
Q: how to evict a family member who was only supposed to stay free for a couple nights and didnt leave?

my cousin asked for a place to stay, and he lost his job now hes staying here not paying rent although there is no rent agreement he was just supposed to stay a couple days and leave he kept procrastinating till he got mail here now hes using squatters rights on us so he dosent have to leave, how... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 25, 2021

No good deed goes unpunished. You can evict him. Some courts have pretty good information for do-it-yourselfers...or you can get an attorney to make sure it's done as quickly as possible.

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4 Answers | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My father passed away july 2020. after living with us for 15 yrs. We built onto our home for him to have his own area.

He paid 60,000 of the add on and we paid the rest. He was never on any mortgage, taxes or insurance. He lived here for free and now my brother thinks I should have to pay him 1/3 of what my dad paid to the build 15 yrs ago. There are 3 of us children. Also, I was on all his checking and savings and... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 21, 2021

From a legal perspective, you don't owe your brother anything. If your father truly wanted your brother to inherit anything, then he should have named him as a beneficiary on the bank accounts and automobile. If he wanted your brother to get 1/3 of the 60k, then he should have had you sign a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: Grandpa passed his wife is in control of everything but is in nursing home does her poa make all decisions for him

They have a will together. He just passed January 17 2021 with her being in nursing home we need her approval for everything. Her poa lives in Texas and flew in for a couple days. His (grandpa) daughters have been with him everyday. My question is does her poa have control of his matters

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 18, 2021

Her POA certainly does not have authority over Grandpa's estate. But, her POA would have control over anything that Grandpa left his wife. Grandpa's will may nominate an executor and the executor can handle his estate; or his next of kin if no will. You may need to speak to a probate lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: My father passed recently and I am an adult child born out of wedlock. Am I included in probate?

My Dad isn't named on my birth certificate. My siblings pretend I'm not alive and I would like to be able to have some of his personal things. Can I legally make them include me before they separate his belongings up amongst themselves? I'm not seeking financial gain just pictures,... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Jan 16, 2021

Your father's personal belongings pass to those named in his will. You don't have a claim to them if you're not named in his will. If he doesn't have a will, then it gets complicated as to whether you are entitled to part of his estate and you would need to have a conversation... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: Is there a penalty if no one steps up to go through probate court for someone who just passed away? There was no will.

The only asset was a bank account (no house, no car, no physical property of value) and the debts are known to be greater than the amount in the bank account and there was no will. There are younger adult children and they don't see the point in spending the time, money, and energy going to... Read more »

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling answered on Dec 22, 2020

No!!! Don't give up. Ohio has a statute of limitations on claims against an estate. The person who paid the funeral or the next of kin could wait 6 months and get a court order to release the money. It is usually a fairly simple process. You could also get an attorney to do all of it for... Read more »

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