Miscellaneous Probate Actions

  1. Represented a female client in action filed in Probate Court to declare that client occupied a common law marriage with the male decedent. Ohio law does not recognize common law marriages in existence after the law's effective date in 1992. Evidence was presented to establish that the decedent and the client held themselves out as husband and wife openly in the community for over 15 years preceding 1992, filed joint tax returns, and conducted themselves as a husband and wife in private and amongst family. The Court found the client to have been in a common law marriage pre-dating 1992 thereby qualifying the client as a surviving spouse for purposes of probate inheritance and triggering the client's entitlement to the deceased spouse's pension benefits including a lifetime health insurance plan.
  2. Represented banks, as Trustee, in cases seeking modification of Trust language where no successor Trustee is named and the family members seek to move Trust management across the country where the family resides. Have been successful in modifying the Trust language to allow new financial institutions to be named as Trustee thereby transferring management to where it is more geographically appropriate to deal with the beneficiaries needs on a day to day basis.