Can I Appeal a Probate Decision? Is Probate Final? Is Probate Appealable?

Appealing a probate ruling is no easy undertaking and requires special care, attention, and a firm command of the governing rules and decisional case law. One of the first things examined by an appellate attorney is whether the order from which an appeal is sought is a final order. The question is uniquely challenging when […]

Ohio Probate Law: Is Virtual Adoption Recognized?

Virtual adoption is a doctrine developed by probate courts to cover certain situations where, for a variety of reasons, the formal probate process hasn’t been accomplished resultingin a legal adoption.  A common example of the application of the doctrine is where foster children are granted inheritance rights from their foster parents without having been legally […]

The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected: Advantages of Pre-need Guardians

  “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”–Robert Frost Recently, it was reported that the percentage of people filling out living wills and healthcare surrogate forms has increased little since Congress enacted the Patient Self Determination Act ordering healthcare facilities to provide information to patients about advance directives.   What are advance directives?   […]

Inheritance Disputes

“Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around.”—Brooke Astor Probate lawyers and laypersons will all enjoy reading Meryl Gordon’s recent book Mrs. Astor Regrets:  The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach as an outline of what can happen when wealth meets the dysfunctional family.    As most readers may know, […]

Exoneration: Will’s direction for payment of “all just debts” did not require exoneration of jointly held property.

Under the common law doctrine of exoneration, an heir or devisee is generally entitled to have encumbrances upon real estate paid by the estate unless the will directs otherwise. At least nineteen states have abrogated the doctrine of exoneration by enactment of Uniform Probate Code § 2-607, which provides for “default non-exoneration”: “A specific devise […]