Probate Litigation Attorneys
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.
“Keep in mind – beneficiaries are like cats and they will bite you for no good reason.” Serving as the trustee of a trust can be challenging because a trustee’s administrative responsibilities are, at times, layered with complicated family or beneficiary dynamics. While there is no way to guarantee a problem-free administration or termination of trust, Ohio law provides a method to expedite the process to complete distribution while providing protections for the trustee against future claims of the beneficiaries.
Adam M. Fried recently presented at The Marvin R. Pliskin Advanced Probate and Estate Planning Seminar, sponsored by the Ohio State Bar Association's Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section. More than 250 attorneys from across the state of Ohio attended the full-day Continuing Legal Education course.
Reprinted from Probate Law Journal of Ohio, with permission of Thomson Reuters. Copyright © 2017.
Years after the initial enactment of the Ohio Trust Code and articles published in this journal1 the Tenth District Ohio Court of Appeals in Zook, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank National Association, et al., 10th Dist. No. 15AP-751, 2017-Ohio-838, conﬁrmed the viability of options under the Trust Code that afford trustees a path to ﬁnality in trust administration not subject to continuing court jurisdiction. Speciﬁcally, the Zook court conﬁrmed what readers of this journal and those familiar with the Trust Code already “know”:
Reminger Co., LPA is proud to announce that Adam M. Fried has been honored as "Best Lawyers® 2018 Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation - Trusts and Estates, Cleveland.
Adam received the recognition from Best Lawyers in America, a respected legal publication that selects its outstanding attorneys by conducting peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their peers.
Ten years after the first enactment of the Ohio Trust Code, in Zook, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank National Association, et al., 10th Dist. No. 15AP-751, 2017-Ohio-838, the Tenth District Ohio Court of Appeals gave insight into protections under the Ohio Trust Code afforded trustees against beneficiary claims and a provided a roadmap for a beneficiary to challenge such protection.
Following up on the recent blog post on basic principles of trust reporting, the Fifth District Court of Appeals released a timely analysis involving a trustee’s failure to account and an award of attorney fees against the trustee for their breach of duty in McHenry v. McHenry, (5th Dist.), 2017-Ohio 1534. The decision, originating out of the Stark County Probate Court is significant for two reasons: (1) it provides a thorough analysis of a trustee’s duty to account even in the face of trust language relieving the trustee of his duty to account; and (2) the court awarded attorney fees in excess of the value of the compensatory damages, pursuant to its authority under R.C. 5810.04.
You are a trust beneficiary.
You have no idea what is in the trust, what has been spent out of the trust, and what will be spent out of the trust.
Must the trustee open his books to you? What rights do you have to receive this information?