The Probate Process
Our experienced lawyers at Carlile Patchen and Murphy have been appearing in Franklin and surrounding counties' Probate Courts for over thirty years. Three of our lawyers have served as Chair of the Columbus Bar Association Probate Court Committee. We know probate! When families are faced with the loss of a loved one, the experience of our probate and trust lawyers can help allay your concerns of how to administer an estate or trust. Executors, trustees, family members and beneficiaries can expect an administration that guides them in fulfilling their responsibilities, protects all parties’ rights, and allows you to focus on friends and family in a time of need.
Fiduciary Estate & Income Tax
All fiduciaries (executors, administrators, and trustees) are required to file a separate income tax return for their estate or trust, and many estates are required to file a federal estate tax return even if no federal estate tax is owed. These returns are governed by very specialized and highly technical different segments of the Internal Revenue Code, filled not only with many pitfalls, but also many money-saving planning opportunities. Relying on our extensive experience, as well as the latest technology, our lawyers and paralegals are skilled in avoiding the problems and maximizing the opportunities.
Without proper planning, and occasionally even with it, disputes can arise among family members or other beneficiaries with respect to a decedent's estate. Litigating these disputes is often very expensive in terms of both money and damaged family relationships. An alternative to litigation is mediation. In a mediation, the various parties agree on a mediator (who can also be appointed by the Probate Court if need be) and then present their sides of the relevant issues in a (typically) one day mediation. A very high percentage of these mediations result in all sides reaching a mutually agreeable settlement of their issues, allowing the estate to be settled with no further delay or acrimony. Our probate lawyers are very experienced in participating in these types of mediations, and also serving as mediators.
Probate,Trust Litigation and Will Contests
While the administration of a probate estate or trust typically runs smoothly, some generate disputes that threaten to result in litigation. We represent clients with interests of all kinds in probate and trust disputes, including interpreting the terms of wills and trusts, management of assets, resolving disputes as to ownership of property, and representing a surviving spouse, beneficiary or a creditor. Disputes over wills and trusts can aggravate tensions within families and damage relationships. We are sensitive to family dynamics in any probate or trust dispute. Wherever possible, we will work aggressively to achieve your goals while being sensitive to family relationships and attempting to avoid litigation if possible.