Michele A. Smith   Attorney at Law
Michele A. Smith Esquire

Phone 419 502 2002
FAX  419 502 2004

Email: msmithlawoffice
@yahoo.com






1604 E Perkins Avenue
Suite 202
Sandusky, Ohio  44870


 

Michele A. Smith Law Office, L.L.C.

 

Estate Planning and Probate  While you are living and healthy you value being able to make your own decisions about your finances, property, health care, and raising your children. Should you become incapacitated or die you hope others will handle these matters for you according to your wishes.

The only way to assure that will happen is through estate planning. This process involves weighing various personal and financial decisions and creating legal arrangements to carry out those decisions.

Estate planning is essential for all individuals to limit estate taxes and to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death.   A key component to estate planning is having a Will, which is sometimes called a “Last Will and Testament”.  The Last Will and Testament is used to transfer property you hold in your name to the person(s) and/or organization(s) you want to have it and specifies the Executor(s) and the nominated Guardians should you pass away leaving minor children.    A Will only becomes effective upon your death and after it is admitted to probate.

Other tools that are helpful in estate planning to reduce estate-tax liability include  trusts, insurance policies, joint and survivor deeds, transfer on death deeds, and joint ownership of accounts.

Our office can also prepare Power of Attorney documents to assist you in the handling of your affairs in the event you are unable or unwilling to handle the matters on your own.   The Power of Attorney documents include a Financial Power of Attorney, Real Estate Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.  

Please contact our office at 419-502-2002 to schedule an estate planning appointment to ensure that your wishes are carried out, and your family is properly protected, in the event of your incapacity or death.

Trusts

There are many types of trusts to have very different individual needs.   Frequently, individuals who do not need a trust end up have a trust prepared, often after going to a free luncheon trust seminar, and individuals who have a need for a trust do not ever pursue trust preparation.    Trusts can meet many needs and can ensure that property is distributed in the manner you desire.   Please call our office at 419-502-2002 to discuss your estate planning needs and for an evaluation to see if a Trust is appropriate for your situation.

 Probating of Estates

Upon an individual passing away typically their estate will need to be probated whether or not the individual left a Last Will and Testament.  A common misconception is that by not having a Will, or by having a Will, an individual will avoid their estate from being probated.  This is not the case if there is property which needs to be transferred to others  or there are outstanding bills to be paid. 

In the event of your death, our office will assist your family members in a personal, professional, and efficient manner in handling the probating of your estate.

 Guardianships, Adoption, Name Changes 

In addition to handling the probating of estates, our office handles other probate matters, including Guardianships, Adoption, and Name Changes.  Please call our office at 419-502-2002 for details.