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Sherrille Diane Akin
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Sherrille Akin’s Answers

396 total


  • When there is not a will left by a deceased parent, will I have an option to pay off all debts or will probate force an auction?

    When there is not a will left by your deceased parent and their assets (home, cars, household & personal belongings) are put into probate. Do you (surviving adult children) have the opportunity to pay off all their debts first, in order to keep pr...

    Sherrille’s Answer

    This sounds like a continuation of several other questions recently posted. First, I would suggest that you consult with an experienced probate attorney and provide the attorney with all of the facts to properly advise you. Lots of people can "tell" you things based upon their experience or what they think they know, but only an attorney can give you legal advice. It sounds like you have lots going on, and the first thing you should do is organize the information to assist your attorney before bouncing around the 'options' you think you have. In Ohio, personal property is generally liquidated to pay bills before real estate is sold. "Probate" is not a thing that sweeps in and does stuff. A person (family member) is appointed Administrator by your county probate court and that person, preferably under the advice of an experienced attorney, makes decisions regarding payment of bills and, if necessary, liquidation of assets to pay those bills. Life insurance money is usually not used to pay bills since it is an asset that passes outside of probate and is not subject to the claims of creditors. If, however, the recipient beneficiary wants to use those funds to purchase estate assets and, thus, avoid the sale of property to strangers, he or she has the right to do so. Again, any person contemplating these actions should first seek competent legal counsel.

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  • If there is no will at time of death will everything in persons home, including the home be sold to pay off decease debts?

    my mom passed away and there is no will. will all her personal belongs in her home be sold first and then her house be sold to pay off her debt? will her heirs be permitted to save anything including the home? will family that still live in hou...

    Sherrille’s Answer

    The situation you describe is one that too commonly occurs as a result of poor (or no) planning. The answer to your question is a bit complicated in that the answer depends upon the type of debt owed by the decedent. Initially, general creditors of a decedent must present their bills to the court appointed administrator within 6 months of the decedent's date of death. If a case isn't opened in the probate court, then those claims cannot be paid, as they are barred by statute. If the debt is a mortgage on real property, then that debt survives and must be paid from the proceeds of the sale of the property. In all cases, creditors are allowed to open estates in Ohio for the purpose of presenting their claims and getting paid. If a family member resides in the property and has personal belongings there, then those items are not subject to sale. There is a problem, sometimes, of distinguishing who owns what. Nothing is immediate in probate court as the sale of any property requires a court order authorizing the sale and typically requires one or more hearings. If you are in this situation, I suggest that you retain legal counsel to represent you and assist you in asserting your rights. Best wishes to you.

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  • Can I challenge a sibling to become executor of estate of my mother if my sibling has petitioned? If so how long do I have?

    In the state of Ohio, can I challenge my sibling, who lives out of state to become executive of my deceased mothers estate if she has already petitioned to become it with out consulting me? If so how long do I have? Please note that I am an Ohio...

    Sherrille’s Answer

    In Ohio, out of state residents can serve as executor of an estate if they are named in a properly executed Will. If your mother died without a Will, then her estate is said to be intestate, and the person whom the court appoints to manage it is called the Administrator. Out of state residents cannot be appointed Administrator of an estate, under any circumstances. If she applies for appointment as Administrator, and all persons on the same level as her (i.e., all brothers and sisters, which would include you) have not consented to her appointment and waived the right to be appointed them selves, then the application would be set for hearing and you will be notified of the date. You can file an application to be appointed instead of her. You can question her appointment if she is the Executor under a will, but you are not likely to be successful unless you can show other reasons why she shouldn't be appointed. Since this sounds like a case where many things might be contested, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to advise you. I practice in all central Ohio counties.

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  • What are the steps to abolishan extended guardianship

    If a person were planning to abolish a guardianship what are the steps they need to follow with the courts to get rid of the guardianship

    Sherrille’s Answer

    The probate court can terminate a guardianship when the need for the guardianship no longer exists. The ward may have regained capacity, or a power of attorney or other management vehicle mat have been discovered. A ward may request a review hearing once a year. You should be represented by counsel. A ward has a legal right to representation. Please call me if you have any questions 614-220-5129. Best of luck to you.

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  • Need name(s) of Columbus, OH attorney(s) who could represent me in hearing (in Logan County, OH,) about my father's medications.

    My father has a court appointed guardian. I feel he is so overmedicated and given needless antipsychotic medications. He resides in an assisted living. Judge has agreed to hold a hearing on the matter.

    Sherrille’s Answer

    I would be happy to discuss the case with you. Please feel free to call me at my office at 614-220-5129. I have experience with rhis type of conflict.

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  • Adult Guardianship

    My uncle has a guardianship over my grandfather. My grandfather is old and immobile but he's not incompetent. My grandfather does not want my uncle to be his guardian anymore. But my uncle doesn't want to sign the termination form with probate cou...

    Sherrille’s Answer

    Each year, your uncle is required to file a physician's statement with the court that states that the guardianship is still necessary. These documents are public record so you can obtain copies of them from the Court. Since your uncle doesn't want to terminate the guardianship, your grandfather can file an application to terminate the guardianship with the probate court. He also has the right to annually request a review of the guardianship to determine whether it is still necessary. He can hire an attorney but, since he is under guardianship, the attorney will probably obtain a court order appointing attorney for this purpose. Please feel free to call if I can be of assistance. 614-220-5129.

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  • My father died leaving my sister as POF. my mother (not diagnosised) has dementia. Father had a will but no one knows anything

    sister bought new car, is transferring house to daughters name

    Sherrille’s Answer

    Please accept my condolences on your loss. Any power of attorney your father gave to your sister is void now and she can only be dealing with his assets as a court-appointed executor. I agree with Mr. Huddleston that you need to find an attorney immediately to open probate proceedings (if they have not been started) and obtain a court order to prevent your sister from further transferring the assets. In these cases, it is important to act quickly to protect your interest and your mother's interest. Since your mother is still living, your county adult protective services may be able to provide some assistance to keep your sister from making off with all of the inheritance. Best wishes to you.

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  • My wife bought a car when we were married. it was bought from money she inhearted when her mother died.

    i want to know if she has legal rights to this car.? it is solely in my name on the title. how does this work sinse it is a comunity property in our marrage?

    Sherrille’s Answer

    Depends upon the context of your question, but since you posted under Probate I will assume you mean for inheritance purposes. Under the law of the state of Ohio, a surviving spouse is entitled to receive two motor vehicles up to $40,000 in value. These transfers happen outside of probate as a matter of law. The county clerk of courts- auto title division has a form affidavit used to transfer the auto(s) from the deceased spouse to the surviving spouse. Ohio isnt't a community property state. The property is, however, likely to be considered marital property for domestic relations purposes.

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  • Can a WILL affect designations in a TOD for Inv Acct (in Ohio)? TOD was signed 6 days before death in poor mental health/state

    Step Mother submitted TOD 6 days prior to death, and signed when father was heavily medicated (morphine, etc) and on death bed. She did not notify children of reading of will - this smells very suspiscious. Securities were always held in Individua...

    Sherrille’s Answer

    Please accept my condolences on your loss. My colleague is correct that a Will does not affect title to assets. So, payable on death or beneficiary designations filed for assets will govern the disposition of an asset. You would have to challenge the omission of the asset from your father's estate, which is not an easy thing to do. The court presumes the designation is valid and you have to show that your father lacked contractual capacity to sign the TOD document. This is a much easier standard, which means it is that much harder to prove he didn't know what he was doing. Now, if the TOD was signed by your stepmother under a power of attorney, you have a much better chance to set the transaciton aside. You should meet with a qualified estate litigation specialist ASAP to present all of the facts of your situation and determine what you need to do. These things need to be handled promptly. Best wishes for a successful resolution of this matter.

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  • Is there a fee to have money distributed from the estate to pay for funeral expenses.

    A family member died and we paid for funeral expenses out of pocket, the attorney in charge of the estate states there was money set aside to cover the funeral expenses, however attorney in charge of the estate, states it will cost to much in ...

    Sherrille’s Answer

    I've got no clue exactly what this attorney is talking about. If the estate has been opened, all you have to do is file a claim with the executor/administrator of the estate. My colleagues are correct in that the executor/administrator is the one who is in charge, not the attorney. The court isn't even involved in this process except if the executor denies your claim and refuses to pay it. DO THIS NOW. There is a 6 month statute of limitations for payment of estate debts, meaning that you have 6 months from the decedent's date of death to file a claim. If you don't do it within that time frame, then payment of your claim is barred. If that amount of time has passed, I would argue that your conversations with the estate attorney amounts to presentation of the claim. If the funds are truly "set aside" for funeral expenses, then that is what they have to be used for. Good luck.

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