Wills Trusts and Estate Administration

If you are looking to gain some peace-of-mind knowing that settling your affairs will be as easy as possible for your loved ones, consider having a legally-sound will prepared for you. Oftentimes, establishing a trust is beneficial as well. Or, if you need help settling the estate of a loved one, I can help. As a member of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the Ohio State Bar Association, I have the experience and expertise that you can trust. If you are looking to make a new will, update your existing will, establish a trust or settle the estate of a loved one in Columbus, Ohio, call our office today.

Preparation of wills goes hand-in-hand with estate administration. The person who prepares a will is referred to as a “testator.” When the testator dies, the person is then referred to as the “decedent.” The decedent’s will makes known his or her wishes with respect to their probate property, i.e., the “decedent’s estate.”

Estate administration involves appointing an estate fiduciary (an “executor” or “administrator”), who must collect the assets of the decedent, pay all legal obligations and debts of the decedent, and distribute the remaining assets to those persons entitled to inherit. A properly drafted and executed Will is beneficial and will allow the estate to be administered more efficiently. In some instances, a trust may be appropriate, and this may be prepared in conjunction with the testator’s will.

When preparing a will, this is a good time to consider whether the client wishes to have a healthcare power of attorney and a living will. These documents are referred to as “Advance Directives.” If the client so chooses, I include these documents for a small additional fee. The client may also wish to have a Durable General Power of Attorney, prepared either separately or at the time the will is being prepared.

I enjoy this area of law because of my role in bringing peace of mind to a client by helping them decide how their estate should be distributed upon death. Many people put off thinking about these things, but once they decide to deal with making the decisions, they always seem to experience a great sense of relief and comfort.

Generally after speaking with a prospective client, I try to quote a flat-fee for the estate planning documents. Estate administration is handled on an hourly-rate basis, but after meeting with a prospective client I work to provide an upfront estimate.

There is nothing like the peace that having a solid will can provide. Call the office of Phil Gauer for wills, trusts, and estate administration in Columbus, Ohio.