Estate & Trust Administration

When someone passes away, our attorneys help the survivors navigate through the complexities of the estate and/or trust administration process.  Through this process we assist in determining the nature, extent, and value of a decedent’s assets and liabilities and see to the eventual distribution of the assets to the persons entitled to them by law.  The facts and circumstances surrounding each case are unique and our attorneys have the expertise to determine and complete the necessary steps in a timely and cost effective manner.

How assets are titled on the date-of-death dictates whether the asset is required to be administered as part of an estate through the local probate court.  We work with our clients to make these determinations. Assets titled in the decedent’s sole name with no beneficiary designation is considered a probate asset and an Executor, if named pursuant to the Last Will and Testament, or an Administrator, if there is no Last Will and Testament, is appointed by the probate court to administer the estate.   Our attorneys assist clients with the probate estate process as follows:

  • Determination of appropriate process (full administration, release, summary release)
  • Preparation of all necessary forms, documents, and pleadings
  • Identification and notification of beneficiaries
  • Representation at court hearings
  • Evaluation and handling of creditors’ claims
  • Preparation and filing of partial, final, and distributive court accountings
  • Preparation and filing of Federal and Ohio Estate Tax Returns

When a decedent’s assets are titled in the name of a Trust, the administration process is handled by the named Trustee; often without the involvement of the probate court.  We assist Trustees with their legal responsibilities throughout the trust administration process as follows:

  • Compliance with the Ohio Trust Code, its rules and regulations
  • Interpretation and effectuation of the provisions of the trust
  • Identification and notification of the trust’s beneficiaries
  • Preparation of trust reports and accountings
  • Preparation of income tax returns
  • Consultation regarding investment choices and working with investment advisors

Whether assisting clients in their fiduciary roles or acting themselves as Trustee, Executor, or Administrator, the attorneys at Wegman, Hessler & Vanderburg have the experience, knowledge, and expertise to see our clients through the administrative process efficiently and successfully.