- Posts by Timothy J. Gallagher
Tim focuses his practice on probate litigation. In this capacity, he leverages his jury trial experience to provide representation in probate and trust disputes involving will contests, charges of undue influence, breach of ...
Our firm pays special attention to the protection of our seniors. Financial exploitation of our seniors has been on the rise for some time. In 2010, the federal government passed the Elder Justice Act, which was the “first comprehensive legislation to address the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults at the federal level.” Seniors may be exploited by those closest to them, even their own lawyers. You can read more about the red flags that we see in our practice that are tell-tale signs of exploitation.
When a scammer pressures a relative into paying money for a phony ... Read More ›
Today the Ohio Supreme Court reversed a Sixth District Court of Appeals decision that held Ohio’s “harmless error statute” permitted a witness to a will to inherit under that will. The Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction on the question of the applicability of R.C. 2107.15 voiding provisions, which prohibit a witness to a will from taking more than his or her intestate share under the will. The Supreme Court held that the voiding provision of R.C. 2107.15 “applies equally to essential witnesses to both formally compliant and remediated wills.”
The unique set of facts that ... Read More ›
A last will and testament is one way that a person can transfer assets upon death. That only applies to probate assets; that is, assets that are held in the name of the decedent only upon his or her death, or assets that are payable to his or her estate. It is becoming more common for people to own assets, such as life insurance, retirement accounts, and annuities, that can have beneficiary designations. You have probably heard about will contests and challenging wills. Did you know that you can also challenge beneficiary designations? And did you know that same reasons to set aside a ... Read More ›
Ohio Probate Courts are uniquely familiar with issues facing Trustees. That is why many Trust disputes are filed in, or transferred to, the Probate Court for resolution. However, some litigants try to avoid probate courts in trust disputes because of perceived advantages or differing rules in other forums. Reminger is familiar with these tactics and knows how to defend against them.
Recently, Reminger received a ruling in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, on behalf of the Trustee client, which halted trust litigation attempted ... Read More ›
On September 29, 2020, the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals affirmed a trust-arbitration award in Hughes v. Hughes, 2020-Ohio-4653.
This is one of the first, if not the first, trust arbitration cases to make its way through Ohio Courts. The Ohio legislature recognized arbitration as an option for trust dispute resolution with the March 2019 enactment of Ohio Revised Code Section 5802.05. Here, the parties commenced arbitration in July 2018, and the arbitration hearing took place in October 2018. The Arbitrator issued his decision that same month, and the award was carried out by ... Read More ›
Most everyone owns property, but we find in our probate dispute practice that very few people have a detailed grasp of exactly what they own and how they own it. Many people forget or are simply unaware of what instruments and documents can be used to convey, transfer, gift, or bequeath their property to another. For instance, you could go to a lawyer, write a will and leave everything to your two children equally. The next day, you could into a bank and put your account in joint form with one of your children. While your intent may be to add a child as a helper to manage your bank account, the ... Read More ›
It goes without saying that COVID-19 has substantially disrupted our way of life. The attorneys in Reminger’s probate and trust litigation group are no different than anyone else, in that regard, and we sincerely appreciate your patience during these trying times. We hope that you are staying safe and we look forward to assisting you in person once again. Read More ›
While Ohio Courts remain open for essential business, several well-intentioned legislative and judicial steps have eased the judicial burdens during the Governor’s Emergency Order. Many people still have questions about how the health crisis created by COVID-19 affects probate practices, including estate and trust administration and probate litigation.Read More ›
A last will and testament is one of those rare documents in life where formalities apply to the execution. In Ohio, there are specific formalities that must be followed in order for a will to be deemed valid. For example, the testator – that is, the person making the will – must:
- be an adult, at least 18 years of age
- of sound mind, - free of undue influence or restraint. R.C. 2107.02.
The will must be:
- in writing,
- signed at the end by the testator (or by someone else at the direction of the testator and in his/her conscious presence),
Timothy Gallagher and Paul Shugar authored "An Introduction to Trust Arbitration" in the January/February 2020 Issue of the Probate Law Journal of Ohio.Read More ›
Since the seminal case of Wilson v. Lawrence, 150 Ohio St.3d 368, 2017-Ohio-1410, Ohio courts have consistently held that, pursuant to R.C. 2117.06, creditors have a strict six-month statute of limitations to present their claims against an estate. This means that creditor’s claims are not properly presented if they are not served upon the court-appointed fiduciary within six months after the decedent’s date of death. A recent case confirms that it is not enough to apply to be a fiduciary to satisfy this strict deadline – you must actually be appointed by the Court.Read More ›
Timothy Gallagher recently presented a 45-minute CLE for the Akron Bar Association Probate Law Section.Read More ›
Between 2013 and 2017, financial institutions have reported to the federal government over 180,000 suspicious activities targeting older adults, involving a total of more than $6 billion. In 2017 alone, banks and other financial institutions filed approximately 63,500 reports with the U.S. Department of Treasury regarding suspected financial exploitation of older adults. That number has continued to rise. The full report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can be found here. These are only the reported figures. A 2017 World Health Organization study determined that 1 in 6 adults over 60 was the victim of some form of exploitation or abuse. Because of the feelings of shame and embarrassment that inevitably comes from being duped, and because of other circumstances where the person may not even know he or she is being exploited, these numbers are most likely low.Read More ›
One advantage of using a trust for estate planning is privacy. The probate process is generally all a matter of public record for any inquiring mind. Trusts, though intended to be more private, can become public when disputes arise that pull the administration into court. But a new Ohio law is changing that.Read More ›
- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
- Ohio Probate Law Journal Article May/June 2021
- E-Book: Should I Challenge My Inheritance?
- New Probate Legislation Expands Guardian Powers, Clarifies Spousal Rights
- Doing our Part to Support Elder Justice
- Fairness and Fees in Inheritance Disputes
- Say What You Mean: Don’t Bet the Farm on Imprecise Language
- Should I Challenge My Inheritance? Part Five: What to Consider When Selecting Counsel
- Ohio Courts to Estate Creditors: We REALLY Mean Six Months!
- Should I Challenge My Inheritance? Part Four: Economic Considerations of Inheritance Dispute