Located across the river from downtown Toledo, OH, we pride ourselves on providing you with the quality representation that you deserve. We have been practicing Estate Planning and Litigation in Toledo since 2010. Additionally, with over 150 years of combined legal experience handling the estate planning and litigation needs of our clients, we are committed to providing them with the exceptional representation that they deserve. As a prospective client of ours, we would be more than happy to get you started in the right direction and devise the best plan of action for your unique needs. Whether you need legal counsel in estate litigation, you want to draft a will or trust, or you are currently dealing with the probate process, Heban, Murphree & Lewandowski, LLC, is here for you.
Toledo, OH is a city in and the county seat of Lucas County, Ohio, United States. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, at the western end of Lake Erie bordering the state of Michigan. The city was founded in 1833 on the west bank of the Maumee River and originally incorporated as part of Monroe County, Michigan Territory. It was re-founded in 1837, after the conclusion of the Toledo War, when it was incorporated in Ohio.
After the 1845 completion of the Miami and Erie Canal, Toledo grew quickly; it also benefited from its position on the railway line between New York City and Chicago. The first of many glass manufacturers arrived in the 1880s, eventually earning Toledo its nickname: "The Glass City." It has since become a city with an art community, auto assembly businesses, education, healthcare, and local sports teams.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the act of preparing for the transfer of a person's wealth and assets after his or her death. Assets, life insurance, pensions, real estate, cars, personal belongings, and debts are all part of one's estate. Estate plans must be written, signed, and notarized by the person who owns the estate.
How Estate Planning Works
Many people think they don't need to do any sort of estate planning, and they think that the existence of a simple will does the job. However, wills are simply legal documents that express the decedent's intentions for burial and to whom he or she wishes to pass money and property (the estate) when he or she dies. A judge has to allow the transfer of that money and property from the decedent's accounts to the beneficiaries' accounts. This procedure is known as probate, and it opens the door for relatives or third parties to contest your will and for a judge to misinterpret your wishes, both of which can tie up an estate in court for years.
Furthermore, probate fees can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. There are executor fees, court fees, recording fees, and attorney fees, and in many cases, these fees must be paid as the estate is probated, meaning that the heirs will need to come up with the money fairly immediately upon the person's death. A will also does not alleviate the problem of estate taxes.
What is Estate Litigation?
Estate Litigation is the specialized practice of law involving the resolution and, if necessary, litigation of trust, estate, and protective proceedings.
Estates Litigation proceedings encompass a variety of matters including conservatorships, guardianships, will contests, claims or defense of claims of breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees and other fiduciaries (e.g., self-dealing, conflicts of interest, breach of trust), accountings, petitions for court instructions, issues of trust modification and reformation, allegations or protection from allegations of undue influence or fraudulent conveyances, and interpretation, advocacy, or defense of testamentary capacity and decedent’s intent.
The practice of Trusts and Estates also includes litigation prevention matters including review and consultation of the policies, practices, and proposed actions of corporate, charitable, and individual fiduciaries against national or state standards for acceptable fiduciary conduct, such as the Uniform Prudent Investor Act, Uniform Principal, and Income Act, and malpractice standards.
All of these proceedings take place under the auspices of state Probate Codes and the nuanced procedures of the probate and surrogate courts – the statutory authority and venue under which nearly all trust, probate, guardianship, and conservatorship matters are adjudicated.