Areas of expertise

Probate & Estate Administration

When administering a person’s final affairs, there are clear step-by-step procedures, whether your loved one has a will or not. It is important to have an experienced probate & estate administration attorney you can trust to help you through the process. The Probate attorneys at Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP’s Family Wealth & Estate Planning Group have recognized experience with Probate Courts across Ohio.

Senior citizen sorting through valuables with the support of CP&M LLP's trusted probate and estate administration services.

Our estate planning & administration lawyers are
experienced in all areas of probate law, including:

The Probate attorneys in our Family Wealth & Estate Planning group help guide executors, trustees, family members and beneficiaries in fulfilling their responsibilities to the decedent, while protecting the involved parties’ rights throughout the entire probate process.

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Estate Administration

When families are faced with the loss of a loved one, the experience of working with one of our skilled probate lawyers will alleviate concerns about how to administer an estate plan or trust. If a person passes away with any assets in their name that were not previously designated to be transferred to another party by a prior method of estate planning, then those assets are deemed probate assets. These assets must be transferred through proceedings in the Probate Court before they are distributed to the rightful creditors, heirs, or beneficiaries. The attorneys in our Family Wealth & Estate Planning group help guide executors, trustees, family members, and beneficiaries through the probate process. By electing to appoint one of our experienced attorneys as administrator of estate gives you an unbiased resource to manage the details and complexities of estate administration and allows you to focus on family and friends in a time of need.

Read more about Estate Planning and Trust services.

Disputes and Litigation

Disputes can arise among family members or other beneficiaries concerning a decedent’s estate. We represent creditors, fiduciaries, beneficiaries, and next of kin in probate and trust disputes, including wrongful death claims, interpreting the terms of wills and trusts, breaches of fiduciary duty, resolving disputes as to ownership of property, and representing the rights of a surviving spouse, a beneficiary, or a creditor. Our probate dispute attorneys will work aggressively to achieve your goals while being sensitive to family relationships and attempting to avoid litigation, if possible.

An alternative to costly and timely litigation is estate mediation. In a mediation, the various parties agree on a mediator (who also can be appointed by the Probate Court, if need be) and then present their sides of the relevant issues in a (typically) one-day mediation. Many estate mediations result in the parties reaching a mutually agreeable settlement of their issues, which allows the estate to be settled with no further delay or acrimony. Our probate lawyers are experienced in participating in these types of mediations, as well as serving as mediators.

Read more about Alternative Dispute Resolutions.

Guardianships of the Estate

Mentally or physically disabled adults and minors who inherit funds or lose a parent – may need a guardian. Our lawyers often assist families in seeking the appointment of a guardian of estate in Probate Court, when necessary. We assist families with the ongoing administration of the estate of the person under guardianship. We also guide guardians throughout the process to ensure the guardian is compliant with the guardianship rules required by law.

Read more about Special Needs and Elder Law.

Step-parent Adoption

The attorneys in the Family Wealth & Estate Planning Group at Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP are honored when we have an opportunity to help our clients with step-parent adoption proceedings in Ohio. A minor or an adult child may be adopted after the loss of a loved one. 

Unlike other areas of the law, in Ohio, a person must be represented by an attorney during an adoption proceeding. We first discuss if someone is a “fit candidate” to adopt a child. We then determine the necessary steps to file an adoption petition. Once the petition is filed and a hearing date is set (a Court hearing is required), the adopting parent must be fingerprinted and undergo a background check. An adoption assessor will conduct a home study and visit the adopting party’s residence to make sure it is a safe and healthy environment for the child. A home study is necessary for all step-parent adoptions of minor children.

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